Excessive friendliness paid off handsomely for this veteran of one of America’s wars.
The scene was a Georgia steakhouse called Texas Roadhouse, as reported by Mad World News.
The story was posted on Facebook by C. Sparks, a Texas Roadhouse customer on that day.
While walking into the restaurant with his mother, Sparks noticed the veteran sitting at the outside patio, waiting to be seated inside.
He said the ex-warrior had “long hair, a long gray beard, and was wearing a jacket with war vet badges.”
Sparks describes the veteran’s interactions with the passersby.
“With every person who walked into the restaurant, he very kindly said ‘hi, how are you all tonight?’ or ‘bye, I hope you have a good night.’ Most people reacted to him, others completely ignored him. That didn’t stop him from greeting every person who walked by.”
Once inside the restaurant, Sparks and his mother found themselves seated near the happy veteran. While dining, their sense of patriotism compelled them to do something special for the man.
“My mom and I flagged the manager down and told him we wanted to pay for this kind man’s meal when he proudly said ‘ma’am, someone else already has.’ Everyone in the section grinned when the waiter told him that his meal was covered. … The man then left, telling everyone on the way out that he hoped they had a good night.”
He isn’t the only veteran who could use a free meal.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 39,471 veterans are homeless on any given night, explains the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
Many of them suffer from the lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and abuse substances, problems made worse by a lack of family and social support networks.
Additionally, military training often does not provide skills that civilian jobs demand, which puts many veterans at a major disadvantage in the competitive job market.
Some relevant statistics are provided by DoSomething.org, a self-described “global movement of 5.5 million young people making positive change,” and which encourages others to “tackle a campaign to make the world suck less.”
According to the organization, substance abuse alone afflicts 70 percent of homeless veterans, while 50 percent experience mental health issues.
And the duration of homelessness for many veterans is said to be “8 or 9 times the length of their deployments.”
Sources: Mad World News, C. Sparks/Facebook, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, DoSomething.org / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: C. Sparks/Facebook via Mad World News