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Fast-Food Worker Says He Was Fired for Giving Veteran Customer Free Coffee and Tacos

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"Since he's a vet, I don't think I should charge him."

Jack In The Box and Carls Jr. fast-food restaurant signs glow July 24, 2008 on the Figueroa Street Corridor of South Los Angeles area of Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles City Council committee has unanimously approved year-long moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a 32-square-mile area, mostly in South Los Angeles, pending approval by the full council and the signature of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to make it the law. South LA has the highest concentration of fast-food restaurants of the city, about 400, and only a few grocery stores. L.A. Councilwoman Jan Perry proposed the measure to try to reduce health problems associated with a diet high in fast-food, like obesity and diabetes, which plague many of the half-million people living there. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

A California man claims he was fired from his fast-food job after giving a veteran two free tacos and a cup of coffee.

Alex Mesta, 19, was let go from a Jack-in-the-Box franchise after handing the complimentary items to a U.S. military veteran, who, Mesta said, is a regular at the establishment, Fox News reported. The coffee cost $0.80 with the customer's veteran discount, while the tacos cost $0.99. Altogether, the three items totaled $1.79.

Alex Mesta (Image source: Fox News)

"Since he's a vet, I don't think I should charge him for his coffee. It's not even a dollar for a coffee," Mesta said, according to Fox News.

Mesta said the customer in front of Mesta had originally ordered the two tacos but that he never picked them up. Since the tacos would likely be thrown out anyway, Mesta said he handed them to the veteran as another way of saying "thank you."

Little did the 19-year-old know that his actions, which were captured on the store's surveillance video, would get him fired.

Meanwhile, a statement from the restaurant's corporate office claimed Mesta's termination had nothing to do with the customer's veteran status.

“We, too, are grateful to our veterans and to the men and women currently serving in the armed forces," the statement read, according to Fox News. "While it would not be appropriate to provide complete details on an internal disciplinary issue, our actions in this case were not based on just one incident and had nothing to do with the guest’s military experience."

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