Marine Corps vet says he was denied service because of '22' tattoo

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The tattoo in question is the number 22. It was perceived as something that could be gang related. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The tattoo in question is the number 22. It was perceived as something that could be gang related. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
'It's a dumb policy,' Brandon Andrus said. 'There are people in gangs who don't have tattoos, you know?' 'It's a dumb policy,' Brandon Andrus said. 'There are people in gangs who don't have tattoos, you know?'
Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row - Gilbert said on its Facebook page that it will be hosting a military appreciation event in the near future. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row - Gilbert said on its Facebook page that it will be hosting a military appreciation event in the near future. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Marine Corps veteran of six years says he was denied entry to Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row in Gilbert because of a tattoo on his neck.

Brandon Andrus said it happened last Wednesday, explaining that the doorman told him the bar and grill has a policy against neck tattoos.

Andrus sports tattoos on his arms, chest and neck. The tattoo in question is the number 22. It was perceived as something that could be gang related.

"To relate it to gangs, I thought it was kinda crazy to me," he said. "It's a dumb policy; there are people in gangs who don't have tattoos, you know?  Imagine that!" 

The number 22 represents the number of veterans who take their own lives each day.  Andrus served two tours in Iraq and fought in the fierce battle of Fallujah in 2004. Veteran issues are near and dear to his heart.

"It's a big deal; I had close friends who committed suicide," he said.

Andrus said he can understand why some aren't aware of what the number represents. He said he received a call from the restaurant owners who apologized for the misunderstanding. They even agreed to reverse their policy on neck tattoos, he said.

While he isn't looking to take legal action, Andrus said his experience at Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row - Gilbert, which just opened earlier this month, is a great way to build awareness of the issue of veteran suicides.

The bar and grill did put out a statement on its Facebook page, saying, "While our company celebrates veterans and active military, because of a misunderstanding, we let one of our most cherished guests down."

"We’ve attempted to reach out with a proper apology and an invitation to the guest that was turned away and his family to give our establishment a chance to make amends," the post continues. "We take this situation very seriously."

The restaurant went a step further, saying it will offer veteran discounts and even host a veterans' night.

"I don't think they realized how big a veteran family there is out here," Andrus said. "And I think when they realized how much this impacted people they wanted to make it right." 

[ONLINE: Mission 22]

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