man pays vets groceries

We’ve all heard about “pay it forward” chains that last for hours at places like Starbucks, in which customers will pay for the order of the person behind them in line. But while the small kindnesses of strangers are never anything to scoff at, a young man in Iowa recently went above and beyond by paying for the groceries of the veteran behind him in line at Walmart.

Paying It Forward

The uplifting moment was witnessed by a woman named Alana Ruthann at the Walmart in Ankeny, Iowa. She later posted about it on Facebook. Ruthann wrote that she was “absorbed in (her) own world of technology, looking down at (her) phone” and “didn’t even notice the two gentlemen standing in front of me until I heard an older mans [sic] voice in confusion declare, ‘Wait, what is happening? What are you doing?’”

She looked up from her phone just in time to see the sweet interaction between the two men. The older one was wearing a veteran baseball cap.

“Sir, I’m paying for your items because you paid by serving my country and I’m grateful for you,” the younger man said.

As Ruthann observed, “The older man was caught off guard with a loss for words, fumbling his gloves in his hands and trying desperately to hold in his emotion, as was I.”

The young man quickly scanned his credit card to pay for the items, thanked the older man, and left. When the cashier handed the veteran his items he asked her, “What do I do now?”

“You have a good day!” the cashier responded.

Afterward, Ruthann wrote, “My heart welled as I watched our veteran readjust his Veteran ball cap, straighten up, and hold his head with pride as he walked out knowing someone was grateful for him.”

man pays vets groceries

What an unbelievable act of gratefulness by a complete stranger. Too often Americans take for granted the freedoms our veterans have given us, but small acts of kindness go a long way. When you have the chance, be sure to thank a veteran today.

Share this if you support our military and are thankful for our veterans!

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