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Post Circulating Claims Hotel Made Disabled US Veteran Crawl Down Stairs

Outline
Post links to a user submitted CNN iReport article which relates the story of a US Army veteran who was wounded in Iraq and paralyzed from the waist down.  According to the story, the disabled vet was stuck on the third floor of the hotel when a power outage rendered the elevator inoperable, and his request for assistance to the front desk was rudely dismissed by the desk clerk.



Brief Analysis
The story is unfortunately true, although the soldier involved has not personally requested any boycotts or sought direct compensation beyond the refund he has already been given.      

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: August 10, 2012
First published: August 10, 2012
Article researched and written by David M. White
About Hoax-Slayer


Example
Post Circulating Claims Hotel Made Disabled US Veteran Crawl Down Stairs



Detailed Analysis

Articles on CNN’s iReport feature can be submitted by anyone with an internet connection; they are not fact-checked before they are posted, and more than a few wind up being hoaxes.  

This particular story, however, sadly turns out to be quite true.  As quoted in the iReport article, SSG Chad Staples (medically retired) stopped in Monahans, Texas on August 7th, 2012, and checked into the Best Western hotel.  While many hotels have accessible rooms on the ground floor, they may also have these rooms on other floors to meet Americans with Disabilities Act regulations regarding number of accessibly rooms available.  In this instance, Staples ended up in a third floor room.  A power outage that coincided with his stay put the elevator out of service.  When Staples called down to the front desk to request assistance in getting his bags back to the ground floor, the reply he got from the desk clerk was, by any measure, far from accommodating. 

Because it involved a wounded veteran, the website Guardians of Valor (which was originally created to expose individuals falsely claiming to be decorated veterans) started their own investigation.  Although they originally ended their investigation stating that corporate executives from Best Western had amicably resolved the situation with Staples, follow up revealed that was not necessarily the case.  In an email attributed to Best Western International Director of Communications Craig Smith, it was stated that they believed Staples expressed his satisfaction with Best Western’s apology in a call from a senior vice president.  Staples has denied this, but also stated he has no interest in a lawsuit.

In direct contact between Guardians of Valor and Staples, he stated 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. 

Bookmark and Share References
http://ireport.cnn.com/blogs/ireport-blog/2012/07/02/how-cnn-ireport-works
http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm#tran
http://guardianofvalor.com/
http://guardianofvalor.com/best-western-incident-concerning-wounded-warrior-and-our-follow-up/
http://www.kwes.com/story/19241830/iraqi-veteran-accusing-monahans-hotel-of-mistreatment


Last updated: August 10, 2012
First published: August 10, 2012
Article researched and written by David M. White
About Hoax-Slayer