Monday, April 17, 2006

Joining the Hilton pig-pile

No, not that Hilton. Let's start with Chris Muir's Day-by-Day.

...and a stolen bit from Mudville Gazette:

CBS has picked up the Fran O'Brien's story:

A two-year tradition for wounded war vets is about to go by the wayside. A downtown DC steak house that’s catered to injured troops every Friday night is about to close, reports CBS affiliate WUSA-TV correspondent Doug Buchanan.

"We're not feeling very good about leaving and especially the Friday night dinner," O’Brien said.

For the past two and a-half years, the restaurant has served steaks and drinks to soldiers being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Many of the soldiers have lost hands, feet or limbs.

Some say the sports-themed steakhouse is the first place where they've felt at home since they left the battlefield.

But restaurant managers said their lease won't be renewed when it expires at the end of the month. Hotel officials said the decision is purely financial, and has nothing to do with the dinners.

Outraged veterans are calling Hilton's New York headquarters and flooding its e-mail boxes with protests.

In a statement from Hilton hotels, a spokesperson wrote: "this is a business decision whereby Hilton Hotels is exploring several options to utilize this space."

There are many non-veterans outraged and contacting the Hilton too.

The story is also out nationwide on the AP wire. Yesterday a google news search found nothing on this story, today's results are quite different. Expect even more tomorrow.

This isn't just about the wounded Iraq and Afghanistan vets. If you haven't read the story of Vietnam veterans Jim Mayer, whose "Alive Day" celebrations were the basis for this new tradition, and Hal Koster, co-owner of Fran O'Brien's, please do so.

Lex has "formed-up" as well:

I don’t know if we’re going to win the Fran O’Brien’s fight - just can’t say at this point, but by the way: Has your congressman written back?

The company has played their cards, and walking back from the “failed negotiations” meme - thin though it may be - would entail sacrificing Important People in the company now, probably. Not just those they’re maybe covering for, the ones who made the original decision to kick Frannie O’s to the door.

If you have not already, dig around the above links. If it makes you angry, Fuzzilicious has some ideas for you. For my regular readers, if the steak dinner sounds familiar, you are right.

No comments: