- The Washington Times - Monday, August 12, 2013

A veteran of the U.S. Army who was injured by two bomb explosions while deployed to Afghanistan said New Jersey police mocked him and ordered him off the boardwalk because he was walking with his service dog.

Jared Goering and his wife Sally both said to The Daily Mail that a police officer first “harassed” him then “mocked” him, and issued him a summons for walking with his dog — a no-no on the boardwalk. But, Mr. Goering said in The Daily Mail, his service dog Navigator, or Gator, is necessary to climb up and down stairs.

“Just like any veteran with disabilities with a service dog, to come back and be harassed and shown no respect, it upset me. It really bothered me,” he said, in The Daily Mail. “I also suffer from PTSD, severe anxiety, depression, and my dog plays a big part in my life. His main purpose is mobility, but he also helps me with all my emotional problems from combat.”

Mr. Goering said he served 19 years in the military, with two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one to Iraq.

The couple said they showed police their service dog card, but to no avail. The officer still ordered them off the boardwalk.

Mrs. Goering said, in The Daily Mail: “He mockingly asked if all veterans get service dogs. His dog is medically necessary, and he is a service dog. We want the public to be aware that there are different types of disabilities and different types of service dogs — and police officers need to be educated about this.”

The North Wildwood mayor said an apology will be forthcoming, if an ongoing investigation into the incident reveals one is needed.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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