Mil-Bloggers and wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan gathered together tonight at Fran O'Brien's Stadium Steakhouse for what has become a tradition, a tradition that may very well end soon.
Veterans recovering at Walter Reed or Bethesda from their wounds come to this restaurant on Friday nights for a free steak dinner that donations support, braving the stairs with their crutches to descend to the restaurant located at the bottom of the Capitol Hilton. Some soldiers have taken a tumble down those stairs and the owners of Fran's have requested the in-operative escalator be replaced, but hotel management has not. This risk has not deterred these returning warriors from braving those stairs to be with friends and family, what are stairs to soldiers who have lost a limb to an IED or an RPG when they are now learning to walk again on a prosthetic leg or cutting that steak with a prosthetic hand?
The problem about the dinners ending arises from the owners of the Capitol Hilton. After months of telling the owners that they have no worries about renewing the lease, Capitol Hilton has yanked the rug out and set May 1st as the last day this restaurant will be open.
For a hotel chain that is right now running commercials saying how hospitable they are, their atrocious treatment of the owners of this restaurant give lie to this. They should be ashamed of themselves and make amends but at this late of a date, the damage is done. Hilton is anything but hospitable.