UPDATES TO THIS STORY ARE POSTED AT THE END OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE.
We received this story last night, and have been working to verify its authenticity. This Soldier was wounded in Iraq and was paralyzed from the waist down. When we get stories like this and it is not from the source, the Wounded Warrior, we have to verify the situation. And this one was especially hard to verify, because the same message was sent to about 20 different Military oriented pages. So we all came together to try and figure out if it was real or a scam. Because we do not want to post something that could harm someone or a company if it turns out to be false. And it seemed no one had actually spoken to the Soldier, every one said “oh I got it from a friend”. And that for us is not enough to post a story and ruin a business if it turns out to be false. We finally were able to verify it was true about an hour ago when Best Western issued an apology for the incident. And from what we hear the Wounded Warrior accepted the apology. Again we also like to give the companies in a situation like this time to correct what went wrong, and we believe they did so in a timely manner, and the Soldier accepted their apology.
Please understand that we must verify accusations like this before we post it up. Between our site, our webpage and our sister sites, we reach around 400,000 people instantaneously. We have known about this story since last night, but since the Wounded Warrior himself did not come forward and we could not find the original “friend” that posted it. We felt we could not in good faith post this story with a chance of it not being correct. That being said here is the story, followed by Best Westerns apology.
SSG Chad Staples is an Army Ranger, who was medically retired from the Army after taking a bullet in the back during a firefight on 10 April 2007. Here is SSG Staples’ story…
I stayed at a best western in Monahans TX yesterday for a pit stop at a rate of 289 for six hours. It was a necessity at the time. For those who might get this message who don’t
know me, I was injured in Iraq five years ago and am in a w
heelchair. The elevator was down when I woke up, so I called the front desk. The conversation goes as such… Verbatim.
Chad … Hi the elevator isnt working
Holly… It’s been down for about an hour
Chad… Can you send someone up to help me down the stairs ( I said this as calmly as I could, I know Shit happens)
Holly…Are you serious? (In a mocking voice)
Chad…(Explains that I am in a wheelchair)
Holly… Well, what do you want me to do about it? (she said flippantly)
Chad… Are you fucking serious? I’m in a fucking wheelchair.
So I made a formal complaint after the manager played dumb. The file number is120806-3855.
The lady at the other end sated its a liability thing, and assured me the complaint would be passed on. But, we all know what goes on with these types of things.
So, I would like all of you to spread this message to others please. And everyone feel free to call customer support est western and tell them that you would like to boycott the chain until a resolution to this issue is found. The address is po box 42007 phoenix, AZ 85080.
So how did I get down the stairs? 3 flights. I threw all my bags down with my wheelchair and went down on my ass.
According to Best Western there was a power outage in the area after a thunder storm went through, which of course caused the power to go out.
“While all Best Western hotels are independently owned and operated, we strive to have consistently excellent customer care standards in place at all of our member hotels. We have received the information from Mr. Staples regarding his stay, and we are truly sorry to hear of this matter that occurred during an unexpected area power outage that affected numerous businesses and many people. Customer care agents, the hotel’s general manager and a brand senior vice president have all reached out to or talked directly with Mr. Staples and hopefully have resolved the matter to his satisfaction.
Best Western International has been an industry leader in proactively communicating ADA requirements to its hotels and also has specific training available to address the needs of our disabled guests. We believe it imperative that all guests are treated with dignity and respect. We will continue to emphasize this training to our member hotels.
We respect Mr. Staples’s status as a disabled veteran and the sacrifices he has made for our country. We can only hope that Mr. Staples will stay at a Best Western hotel in the future and afford us an opportunity to express our gratitude.”
Again, we as admins of this site and our facebook page Stolen Valor, hope you all understand why we could not in good faith post this story when we heard about it. Their are so many scams going around these days using Soldiers that we can not post a story unless we can verify its content. I can assure you that myself, and around 20 other military oriented facebook pages worked together diligently trying to track down and verify this story. With that we ask that if you submit something like this to us, please have something to back it up, we can not go off of “I got it from a friend”. If we posted every story we got without confirming details, we would lose integrity with our followers and that is not acceptable.
Ok fans an update to the story, it seems we were lied to by Best Western! And this pisses me off, they told us that SSG Staples had accepted their apology. But according to SSG. Staples, he said no such thing!!!!
Here is what we found…….Staples, who is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, said when a Best Western employee in Monahans mocked him and laughed at him when he asked for help down the stairs, he questioned the nation for which he fought.
“I didn’t need to be carried down the stairs, let’s get that clear. I needed somebody to help me get my bags and wheelchair down the stairs,” Staples said. “I’ve never had that bad of a day where I’m just randomly rude to someone — and the consequence is that (someone is) stuck at the top floor of a hotel.”
Although Best Western has issued a corporate statement offering an apology and called Staples several times, Staples said he is not accepting their apology yet.
A corporate news release stated that the company had apologized to Staples and refunded his hotel purchase, as well as expressed the company’s support for the armed forces and promise that its branches strive to “ensure that all our guests are treated with dignity and respect.”
The Monahans News reported hotel owner Andy Patel said staff could have injured Staples if they attempted to help him. Patel also told The News that hotel policy is to call EMS to request help, but he was not sure why that policy was not followed.
“This is a very unfortunate thing,” Patel said to The News. “I have worked very hard in Monahans for 30 years.”
Staples said several Best Western calls have included excuses and one seemed a sincere apology with the willingness to change. But it’s not enough.
“Apologies mean nothing. Actual actions mean everything,” Staples said. “Nothing has changed. They haven’t fired that woman and they haven’t changed their policies.”
An emailed statement attributed to Craig Smith, director of communications for Best Western International, stated that they believed in a call from a senior vice president, Staples “expressed there was nothing further he expected on our end,” which Staples denied. However, Staples said he has no interest in a lawsuit.
Here is the story…
UPDATE3:We made contact with SSG Staples, he said he does not want their apology, or their money, and he is not looking to sue. He just wants to ensure this never happens to anyone else again. So let it be known that if any chain in the USA, decides it is ok to disrespect a disabled veteran or any disabled person for that matter, we will place their acts into a public forum as this one. These Heroes sacrificed to give you the right to earn the money you do, and we will not stand idly by while you disrespect the blood he has shed!
UPDATE4: The Mayor of Monohans, where this incident occured said the following:
David Cutbirth, the mayor of Monahans, said he was shocked at what happened and that the people of Monahansdon’t act like that.
“It does not reflect most of the people of Monahans,” Cutbirth said. “In fact, you’re going to have some extremely outraged people in Monahans because someone was treated this way, especially a veteran.”
Cutbirth recommended that Patel fire the employee to make things right, but said neither the city nor its people can run Patel’s business for him.
UPDATE5: Best Western says Holly has been placed on Administrative leave while their investigation is in process.
UPDATE6: This is an Official Response from Best Western received at 10:11PM EST 11AUG2012
“We recognize that people continue to express concern about a recent event at a Best Western hotel in Monahans, Texas. As an update, we have been advised by the hotel that after a thorough review of the matter the individual involved is no longer an employee. We continue to have a dialogue with Mr. Staples in regards to resolving this matter, and continue to offer our sincere apology.”