Jim Stanek, Disabled Veteran, Says United Airlines Staff Kicked His Service Dog, Asked If He Was ‘Retarded’

Huffington Post  Jim Stanek, a disabled veteran and Paws and Stripes cofounder, claims United Airlines staff physically abused his service dog, Sarge, and verbally abused him during an unexpected 3-day layover at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.

In a video posted to YouTube detailing the abuses, Stanek says the “nightmare” began on July 15, while he was at the ticket desk.

“Some United Airlines employees were moving by and one of them was startled, turned, and kicked my service dog,” Stanek says in the video. “Didn’t kick her hard, but … they kicked her.”

Stanek continues, saying he chalked it up to an accident and let it go — even when it happened a second time by a different United staffer.

The Daily Mail reports Stanek has post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as traumatic brain injury (TBI) following three tours in Iraq, which makes standing in loud crowds and reading difficult. In the video, Stanek states the most traumatic part of the ordeal occurred when, while trying to get a hotel voucher after his flight was canceled for a second day in a row, the man at the ticket counter asked it he was “retarded” — referring to his inability to stand in the line with everyone else, and read the paperwork.

“I completely lost all composure at that point,” he said in the video. “I started yelling, I used four letter words … and I’ve worked very hard not to be like that.”

According to the blog Reduced Mobility Right, the U.S. Department of Transportation has opened an investigation into the incident, with the cooperation of the airline.

“We are reaching out to the customer directly to discuss the events that he described,” a spokesperson for United told Reduced Mobility Rights on July 21.

18 thoughts on “Jim Stanek, Disabled Veteran, Says United Airlines Staff Kicked His Service Dog, Asked If He Was ‘Retarded’

  1. hard to feel sympathy for someone who would voluntarily deploy 3 times to an illegal immoral aggressive invasion based on lies against people who were never a threat resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent men women and children..

    i guess hes retarded

      1. I don;t understand why the dog should have been kicked. I agree though – anyone who did 3 tours in Iraq must be a problem but then airline employees aren’t any better.

    1. To Woof: Go Fu** Yourself, many people have been duped into joining and assholes like you should be the ones dying over there.

    2. Woof, I’d like to shake your hand… then rip your arm off and beat you with it for making the comment you did. Jim Stanek may show restraint in the face of ignorance, but not all vets are as easy going as him.

    3. Yeah!
      Getting a taste of his own medicine.
      He is now seeing the truth about the regime he supported and watched kill some million and a quarter Iraqis, up close and personal.
      Yeah they kick dogs and kids and shoot them.
      Count yourself lucky Jim.
      Add to that the Serbs, Afghans, Libyans and now Syrians.
      Nasty aren’t they Jim?
      You ain’t seen nothing yet.

      1. You forgot the forgotten people. Palestine. Wouldn’t happen there either except for Amerika’s vetos at the UN and all those WMDs they give Israel including white phosphorus to drop on kiddies & watch their flesh burn to the bone.

        Definitely a ‘feel good’ video, this one.

    4. To Woof…Hope you enjoy a long and painful death! That is the most awful thing I have ever heard about both an animal and a military man/women…who puts their lives on the lines to protect the american people…and trash like you.

    5. What a gutless moron you are to make such a comment to a service man who has more guts than you ever will have in your toenail clippings. Service men and women go where they are told to make the place safe so fools like you can make these comments and then hide behind a made up name, hope you feel like a big man

  2. Gestapo tactics coming soon to an airport near you.
    Had he been just an ordinary citizen, with no military history, this would have been no less unconscionable.
    We’ll ALL be targets of type of treatment in the very near future. Make no mistake about that.

  3. Boy, he better not fly in China. This is the same kind of customer service you would get there.

    Example in China (I have spent 5 years there, so I know)

    Flight Attendant: “I’m sorry, your flight is cancelled.”
    Customer: “Why?”
    Flight Attendant: “No why. It just is. Would you like me to book another flight for tomorrow?”
    Customer: “Sure. Can you give me some vouchers for tonight? I’m disabled.”
    Flight Attendant: “I’m sorry we can’t.”
    Customer: “But you canceled my flight and I’m disabled. What am I suppose to do?”
    Flight Attendant: “I’m sorry that’s just the way it is. Would you like me to still book you another flight? You’ll have to pay an extra $50 more.”
    Customer: “$50 more!!??? Can I speak to a supervisor?”
    Flight Attendant: “I’m sorry, he is not here right now and I don’t know when he will be back.”
    Customer: “Well whose in charge?”
    Flight Attendant: “No one. I just work here at the terminal. That’s all.”
    Customer: “Can I get your supervisor’s number? Can you call him?”
    Flight Attendant: “I’m sorry. He doesn’t take personal calls.”
    Customer: “Well who do I make a complaint to?”
    Flight Attendant: “Currently we don’t have such a complaint hotline, but we are working to improve our services in the future.”

    Customer looks at Flight Attendant, dumbfounded.

    Flight Attendant: “If you would like me to book another flight, I can. Otherwise, there are other customers waiting, sir.”

    Customer walks away dumbfounded as another customer walks passed him and comes up to the Flight Attendant’s desk.

    Get used to it, folks because from what I’ve seen since coming back is that the U.S. is quickly following in the Chinese Customer Service footsteps. Only the complaint hotline will be a computer automated service that will file your complaint, give you a confirmation number and you will never hear about it again as the system will probably delete the complaint soon after recording it.

  4. I am so heart boken to hear your story. I almost can’t believe the treatment you recieved. I was mistreated by United airlines once before too when I was 5 month pregnant. My only advice to you is do not fly with them agian! Southwest on the other hand is expanding and do a great job with people and I sure dogs too. I am sorry about your dog. The ignorance that is out there for service animals. They are the pick of the litter… totally nonagressive.

    As far as disabled people go, you are right. Just becuase someone looks aveage does not mean it true. My autistic son looks like Justin Beiber with the social skills of a five year old. It is a very scarey to think what others might try to do to someone they think they are dealing with that they percieve to be as able as they are. I constantly worry about his safty. Some people are so stupid and assuming of other peoples abilities. I am glad you made it home saftly. Please ignore any dumb ass remarks from people with less real world experience like the first commit I read. I don’t like the lies we have been told.
    As Americans I know we desire to be the good guys and so aspire to do the right thing. We trust those that are suppose to lead us in an honorable way. It is not our fault if they (those above us that claim to know better) lie to us and misuse our trust. Americans love humanity. God forgive us all that try to hard and fall so short.

  5. JIm Stanek should be applauded for his service to his country, because like tens of millions of other Americas, he too was deceived by a media we’ve all been taught to trust, and was thereby convinced he was serving his country in Iraq, rather than serving bankers, which is the truth of what military service amounts to.
    We’re all on a learning curve here, and people who are recently becoming aware of the media’s capability of universal deceit have some catching up to do, so it’s up to the rest of us to be patient teachers so they will all be happy to support our efforts to restore The Republic in the future. We’ll need popular support to succeed, and that’s why educating others is so important.
    I can respect the man for his military service, because I”m sure he had the best of intentions when he signed up, but was a victim of the lies we’ve all learned to see through.

    But for not boycotting the airlines, he got what he deserved, because the crimes and abuses of the TSA are now common knowledge, and as the airports have become the vehicle through which Americans are being taught to accept tyranny, he should have either stayed away from the airport, or expected a fight when he got there.
    He voluntarily funded the enemy by buying a plane ticket. Hopefully he’s learned by now exactly who the enemy is.

  6. People in general suck at being compassionate. We have no appreciation for what anyone other than our own self must live with each day of our pathetic lives. For anyone to kick a lowly beast who by the way will stand by you more than your next door neighbor and so called friend, protect you more than the local police and FBI, and be there till your last breath is just another indication that this world has not gone to the dogs but gone to men of shame.

  7. Woof :
    Please explain how you are any better after making such a comment. Your opinions and beliefs blind your ability to have compassion or even give a crap but first and foremost you feel the need to get your own agenda out there.
    You don’t approve of the “war” fine, neither did or do I. Yet I was briefly involved in one (not going to say because it’s not important) and I can tell you that much like here not everyone “there” is a innocent loving individual.
    Try and put your personal opinions and ego aside and if your comments don’t directly involve the situation at hand either taking a side of this man or United Airlines then kindly go elsewhere because you’re the same type of ass who would hurt another to prove their point much like you did with your comment.
    What if it was a lesbian, gay, Catholic, Jew? Not everyone agrees with them. Screw it let’s attack everyone.
    Now everyone knows how strongly you feel and you did it by attacking someone who simply posted a video of a bad time they had….feel better?
    He served his country because HE felt it was the right thing to do.

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