After years of service and two tours of duty, it was hardly a welcome home for a soldier who says he was profiled and kicked out of a cab because of his military service.
Army National Guard soldier Allen Pendley said he was simply trying to get home in east Nashville after spending a long weekend of military training in Greenville, KY, and a long Greyhound bus ride.
"We actually left Friday. I didn't get back until [Sunday] night," Pendley said.
He said before he got a chance to call a cab after arriving to the Greyhound station, a cab pulled up next to him.
"A Yellow Cab pulled up and asked if I needed a cab, and I said yes," Pendley said.
Pendley said he's still trying to wrap his mind around what happened on the short cab ride from the bus station.
"[The driver] asked me, 'Are you in the military?' I said, 'Yes, sir, I am,'" Pendley said. "It kind of got distant and real quiet, and he pulled over and asked me to get out of the cab and find another cab."
Pendley said he served in Iraq in 2009 and 2010 and said he never expected to be treated so badly right here at home.
"I believe whole-heartedly it was discrimination," the soldier said.
Pendley said the cab driver dropped him off near the Tennessee Performance Arts Center on the other side of downtown. He said he was able to catch another cab with no problem.
The soldier said he didn't think to get the cabbie's name or cab number, but did call the cab company to tell them what happened.
Yellow Cab officials said it doesn't seem right, and if one of their cab drivers was anti-military, why would he pick up the soldier in the first place, since he was dressed in fully military fatigues.
"Honestly, I'll never take them again," Pendley said.
Yellow Cab management said they were unaware of this incident until reporters started calling Monday, but they will be investigating.
They said they will check their GPS system to see which cabs were in that area at the time, and if what the soldier said is true, the cab driver will be dealt with harshly or even fired.
"I hope he gets what's coming," Pendley said.
An internal investigation is underway. Yellow Cab executives said they called Metro Licensing Commission, the department which regulates cab companies, and no formal complaint was filed with them.
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