Uniformed Soldier with Sidearm Refused Service

This Kentucky Waffle House refused to serve a uniformed National Guardsman because he had his sidearm on his belt.

A story about a Kentucky waffle house that refused service to a uniformed, armed U.S. soldier is going viral on social media outlets this week.

According to this story from the local NBC affiliate, a National Guardsman was told to leave his gun outside the Nicholasville Waffle House Sunday morning when he stopped there for breakfast, or he wouldn't be served.

Billy Welch said he ordered food with his pistol holstered on his hip, in uniform. Then the waitress and manager signaled for him to come speak with them.

"I got up and walked over to them, asked them how they were doing and stuff, and they said I'd have to take my firearm outside," said Welch. "I don't feel comfortable taking my firearm away from me. I always keep it with me and they said, 'It's one of our policies.'"

Welch simply told them he couldn't leave his gun outside.

"You know, if I can't have my firearm, I can't be here," he said. "I walked inside to the other waitress. I said, 'thank you, but no thank you ma'am. I'm gonna have to leave."

Micaela Shaw was sitting in a booth nearby and posted details of the incident to Facebook, which subsequently went viral this week.

Someone who witnesses the encounter posted the details on Facebook, and Welch soon started hearing from people and groups from all over the country.

"I have a bunch of family members and friends who have been active military, and in the military and retired, and it hurts my feelings when people disrespect them," said Micaela Shaw, who was sitting nearby and overheard the interaction between the waitress and Welch. "I just wanted to stand up for him."

Her posts were the ones that initially went viral.

The Waffle House owner made a statement, according to the story: "For many years we have had a 'No Firearms' policy in place in our restaurants. We continue to believe this is the best (policy) for the safety of our customers and associates."