When a cashier noticed a WWII veteran eating lunch at a local Arby’s, he decided to slip something extra into the man’s meal. It instantly left the elderly customer in shock.
For a veteran, returning home can be just as much of a challenge as fighting for their country. Often times, they find that they are unable to immediately reconnect with society and, sadly, people have little care for their plight.
Forgotten and unappreciated, these silent heroes go about their daily lives, struggling with simple routines that most of us take for granted. However, sometimes there are those rare individuals who notice that priceless glimmer under the hushed facade that these brave men and women are regularly forced to wear.
Every day, an elderly man walks into an Arby’s restaurant in Chandler, Arizona, and orders his lunch before quietly sitting alone with his tray. Unable to ignore this faithful customer, employees began to realize that the patron is a 97-year-old World War II veteran struggling to maintain an ounce of normalcy.
After repeatedly serving the aged veteran, employee Travis Coye couldn’t help but feel a tugging at his heartstrings for the loyal customer. Upon discovering that the veteran, identified only as Doug, not only has no family to lean on but also suffers from a stomach disorder that leaves him able to tolerate little else other than Arby’s sandwiches, Coye decided to make a special meal for him.
When 97-year-old Doug came in to place his typical order — a roast-beef slider with Swiss cheese and a Coke with no ice — Coye added a little something extra to the ordinary meal combo. According to Fox 10, Coye and his fellow employees chipped in their own money to buy Doug a $200 Arby’s gift card, which immediately moved the elderly veteran to tears.
“This is the only place I can get a sandwich or get something to anything else to eat that doesn’t hurt my stomach,” Doug replied.
Travis Coye started a chain reaction.
Manager Christina Gamage took the employees’ generosity a step further, announcing that Doug will receive free meals from Arby’s for life, a deal that goes into effect the moment he uses up his gift card. Additionally, if the senior citizen can’t make it to the restaurant, they will make sure that his favorite meal is delivered to him.
“He’s gone through a lot being a veteran, coming in, being in a retirement home, but he doesn’t have family,” she said.
When the staff notified Doug of his gift, they revealed that he was instantly touched by their generosity and could hardly speak. “He was shocked, hardly had anything to say,” a manager explained.
Employees proudly exclaimed that Doug has been adopted into the Arby’s family and is considered an integral part of their daily lives. If he doesn’t show up for his routine lunch, there is always an employee to make a personal phone call to the veteran to make sure that he’s okay. A meal is then delivered straight to his front door, ensuring that he is eating each day.
Although Doug is nearing 100 years in age, he is in great health. Aside from his stomach condition, he only requires a walker to get around, proving his resilience and independence. However, his newfound fame has also gained him a free exam and glasses from a local eye doctor, who was inspired by his story.
Hopefully, Doug will continue to eat at his favorite restaurant for many years to come with the family that has gladly accepted him as one of their own.