NORTH WILDWOOD – A disabled U.S. Army veteran, who served our country for 19 years, says he was kicked off the North Wildwood boardwalk last night, simply for having his service dog by his side.
Jared Goering served 1 tour in Iraq, 2 in Afghanistan, and spent 19 years as an active member of the Army. Jared said, “I served from 1993 to 2012.” He then told NBC40 he couldn’t sleep Thursday night because he felt so disrespected by a North Wildwood police officer.
Goering said, “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. I was up most of the night thinking about it.”
A North Wildwood police officer issued Jared and his wife a summons because of the dog. Goering said, “I expected to get more respect from him because of the jobs that we both have to do.”
“He mockingly asked if all veterans get service dogs,” said Jared’s wife, Sally Goering, “his dog is medically necessary and he is a service dog.”
In 2009, Jared was serving in Afghanistan when his vehicle was blown up by IEDs, twice, within 36 hours. Now, Jared uses his 3-year-old service dog, Gator, short for Navigator, to help him walk, and to get up and down stairs.
Jared explained, “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.”
Jared and his wife Sally say the incident occurred on the 26th street North Wildwood boardwalk. The Goering family said, even after showing the officer the dog’s service identification card, he still issued them a summons and kicked them off the boardwalk.
Sally said, “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.”
North Wildwood police officials say there are no pending charges, but that there are other circumstances surrounding the case.
The mayor of North Wildwood says they will issue a formal apology, if appropriate, pending the outcome of the investigation.