Fact Check

Charley's Grilled Subs Refuses Services to Marines?

Did a Charley's Grilled Subs outlet in Stockton, California, refuse service to two U.S. Marines?

Published May 24, 2010


Claim:   A Charley's Grilled Subs outlet in Stockton, California, refused service to two U.S. Marines.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, May 2010]

Two Marines Were Refused Service at Charley's Philly Steaks by Anti-war employee in Stockton, CA. The two Marines walked up to order lunch, the manager refused to serve them, she stated that they represented the war and she would not serve anyone in uniform. Here is the number 209-473-8858.


Origins:   The rise in appreciation of the military in recent years has served to speed along a number of "outrage" e-mail forwards which call for a boycott of a particular restaurant, bar, gas station, or other retail establishment said to have refused service to someone wearing a U.S. armed forces uniform. Previous targets of such outrage include a

Marathon gas station in Pontiac, Illinois; a Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Crown Point, Indiana; restaurants in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Duluth, Minnesota; a Shell gas station in Tennessee; and a
Shady Maple restaurant in Pennsylvania.

While such tales of wrongs done to those who guard our freedoms do stir the blood, virtually all such reports we have encountered have proved to be either completely fabricated or highly distorted versions of real events. (One exception, however, had to do with a 2004 incident at a

convenience store in Fort Worth, Texas.)

In May 2010, yet another "shunned serviceman" rumor spread through the online world, primarily via Facebook postings. According to the message, a Charley's Grilled Subs outlet in Stockton, California, refused service to two Marines, stating the establishment would not serve anyone in uniform.

According to station KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, a pair of military recruiters were turned away from the Stockton Charley's location, but not because anyone refused to serve them. Instead, recruiters who were engaging a Charley's employee in a lengthy conversation were asked to continue their discussion outside, said the restaurant in a statement to KCRA:

Military recruiters came to our restaurant and had a long conversation with our employee. We asked them to take their conversation outside of the restaurant because our employee was working. We did not refuse to serve the soldiers. We told the soldiers that we support our troops, but do not support the war. I meant no insult to the men and women that put their lives in harm's way to protect our freedom.

With more than 400 locations, there are Charley's in 46 U.S. states and 16 countries. The chain of sub shops is known for its support of the troops, as at least 100 of of the popular eatery's outlets are located on military bases around the world.

The Stockton, California, Charley's location not only doesn't turn the military away, it offers those in uniform a 10% discount.

Last updated:   24 May 2010


    KCRA-TV [Sacramento].   "Marines Refused Service at Eatery? Claims Fly Online."

    12 May 2010.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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