View Full Version : Soldier who lost legs in explosion barred from club because of shoes

01-07-2004, 08:22 PM
Amputee soldier denied access to club

The shoes he uses with his prosthetic legs didn't meet the Clive bar's dress code.

Abby Jackson, wife of Spc. Robert "B.J." Jackson, 22, who lost his legs in an explosion last August while serving with the Iowa Army National Guard in Iraq, says her husband was denied access to an upscale nightclub in Clive on Friday night because his shoes weren't fancy enough.

"Both of us told (an employee) that those were the only shoes he can wear with his prosthetic legs," Abby Jackson said Saturday. "I even told them he lost them in Iraq."

But Tom Baldwin, owner of Crush, 2249 N.W. 86th St., says the couple did not explain to his bouncers that Jackson has to wear his tennis shoes with his prosthetic legs. The club, which calls itself a "casually swank joint," prohibits tennis shoes and hooded sweat shirts, Baldwin said.

"We make exceptions for people all the time," Baldwin said. "There's no reason why we would deny entry to someone with prosthetic legs."

"It's certainly disappointing to see . . . after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this type of treatment not only to a person with a disability, but also a veteran," said Sen. Tom Harkin's spokewoman, Allison Dobson. Dobson said the senator feels the nightclub should consider changing its policy and apologize for the incident.

Jill Fulitano-Avery, administrator of the Iowa Division of Persons with Disabilities said she has never heard of such a case. If the Jacksons' story is accurate, she said, "it sounds outrageous; people with disabilities have the same rights as anyone else."

Fulitano-Avery, who is also the mother of a double amputee, said the shoes made for prosthetic legs are hard to find and very expensive. "I would not be surprised at all if he only had one pair."

The night out with friends was one of the couple's first since Jackson began learning to walk again in early November.

"I was upset," Jackson said Saturday from an airport on his way back to San Antonio where he's receiving medical treatment.

"We all thought they were kidding," said Abby Jackson. "He had his cane with him and everything. I don't even think he knew how to react to it. . . . He was really upset."

Jackson was wearing a pair of black suede Nike tennis shoes, specially inclined to fit his prosthetics. "They're actually pretty dressy," Abby Jackson said. "He wanted to pick a pair of shoes that he could wear with everything."

"It was very insulting," said Brandon Beveridge, a close childhood friend of Jackson's who, along with his wife, Stephanie, was out with the couple. "B.J. pulled up his pants to show them; I remember seeing the steel," he said.

Story from DesMoines Register (http://desmoinesregister.com/news/stories/c4788998/23165810.html)

01-07-2004, 11:29 PM
:razz: Stories like this really make me angry..!! :furious: I hope he owns that CLUB when its all said and done..@!! :banghead:


:furious: :furious: :furious: :furious: