Vet's Message To Tachi Palace: Change Restaurant's Name

A military veteran claims the Tachi Palace Casino has gone too far by naming one of its restaurants "Pork Chop Hill Buffet." Gerald McCarney{}says it's a slight to Korean War Veterans.{}

The sign on Highway 198 in Lemoore touts the new restaurant Pork Chop Hill Buffet at Tachi Palace. Its website says it features sixty delicious items to choose from daily.

But Pork Chop Hill is also one of the deadliest battles in Korean War history. Hollywood and actor Gregory Peck{}made the battle famous in 1959.

McCarney is a Vietnam War Veteran who asked Tachi Palace Casino to change the name of the restaurant. "No disrespect against the casino, but if it's an issue in the past that's a historical event especially with a name like that just like 9-11 or the twin towers. Let's say they made twin tower burgers or something like that it would be offensive to the people who died in the twin towers."

Tachi Palace counters that during the 1940s, decades before the casino was built, the area had subtle hills covered in tall grasses. The Thomas family would slaughter pigs and share the meat with neighbors. The aroma of pork created Pork Chop Hill and that's where the restaurant gets its name.

Its website reads, "Pork Chop Hill represents the survival of the Tachi Yokut Tribe. We are a proud people and during that era the Santa Rosa Rancheria produced ten Tachi warriors who served in World War Two."

But{}McCarney who's son is a Blackhawk helicopter pilot about to undergo a second tour in Afghanistan, says it boils down to respect. "The significance of what they do is I'm sure it's great as far as their pork chops, but it has a total different meaning to veterans that were involved in that situation."

McCarney says he's made his point and won't pursue the issue. Meanwhile in an e-mail to McCarney, Tachi Palace says it's no slight against Korean War Veterans. Instead it says Pork Chop Hill is a way to promote local Tachi Yokut Indian history.