Thu. May 30th, 2024

Lou and his wife Annette were out to dinner one night at their local Cracker Barrel. As usual, Lou was wearing his U.S Navy Vietnam vet cap Pretty soon a young man walked over to their table and started chatting with Lou. It was a little strange that someone would walk up to their table and just start a conversation but what the man said left Lou speechless.

The young man was there with a few of his friends, and they were all Marines. They had seen that Lou was a veteran and wanted to let him know how much they appreciated his service. As service members themselves, they know the sacrifice and dedication that Lou had made and wanted to express their gratitude for her service.

“I knew they were military by their haircuts- high and tight.” said Lou.

It didn’t stop with just the one interaction though. One by one each of the Marines went up to Lou’s table interrupting his meal, just to thank him for his service and offer a handshake.
Lou talked for a moment with each of them and wished them well in their future endeavors in the military. Then he returned to his meal with his wife thinking that was the end of it.

But the surprise didn’t end there. The couple went on with their night out, their night already made by the nice young man and his compliment. However, when they asked their waiter for the check they learned that it had already been paid for. The five Marines that had expressed their gratitude found another way to show their appreciation.

Completely flattered by the gesture , Lou walked over to the table, put his arm around one of the young men and said they didn’t have to do that. Just a thank you would have been enough for the Vietnam vet. But the men insisted.

And still on their way out they wanted to give one last thank to Lou for his service, so as one was paying the bill, the other four gentlemen lined up to shake Lou’s hand one last time. Even a few hugs were exchanged. Pretty soon the entire restaurant was aware of what was happening when the Vietnam vet began to cry.

“They filed in front of my table, stood in line, and each of one of them again put his hand out, shook my hand, thanked me, hugged me, and walked to my right.” Lou said, tears welling up in his eyes just recalling the event.

The normally chatty restaurant had fallen silent as they watched what was happening at Lou’s table. Some even applauded. “It just speaks volumes of the military. I thought of my son who is retired Air Force, and the people who thank him for his service. It’s rewarding to see the military is so strong and polite.” said Lou’s wife Annette who had to tell her husband to take a deep breath.

There aren’t enough random acts of kindness happening in the world, but it will always bring a smile when theres a story like this that comes around. Remember to show appreciation for our Veterans and thank them for their service, you never know what it could mean to them.