73-Year-Old Vietnam Vet Fired from Cracker Barrel for Giving Away Cornbread

06/30/2014 AT 08:50 AM EDT


Joe Koblenzer is 73 years old. He's a Vietnam veteran, and until recently, he worked as a host at a Cracker Barrel in Florida.

One day, Koblenzer was approached by a man he describes as "needy," who asked for some mayonnaise and tartar sauce. The man told Koblenzer he was going to make fish for dinner, and needed the condiments. Koblenzer obliged, and gave him a cornbread muffin.

"He was happy, I felt good about it," Koblenzer told Fox and Friends of the interaction. Koblenzer's employer did not feel as good about it, and fired the veteran.

Koblenzer admitted that he had two prior infractions as an employee: Once, he took a sip of Coke while on the job, which is against the rules. Then, a woman asked for a cup of coffee after her table had been cleared, and Koblenzer gave it to her free of charge.



Cracker Barrel supplied the following statement: "Mr. Koblenzer received multiple counselings and written warnings reminding him about the company's policies and the consequences associated with violating them … On the fifth occasion, again per company policy, Mr. Koblenzer was terminated. Cracker Barrel is grateful and honors Mr. Koblenzer's service to our country as we honor all service men and women and their families." (The company did not specify what Koblenzer's other two violations were.)

For his part, Koblenzer doesn't regret his actions. "They have their rules, and I broke their rules," he said, adding that it was worth it, and he'd do it again.

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