Thousands of soldiers and law enforcement officers are always up and ready to keep our country safe even when the odds are against them. While this men and women are out taking risks for us, we occasionally tend to forget how lucky we are to have them around. Sometimes after a strenuous exercise, all they want to do is take a cup of coffee or enjoy a hamburger or a hot dog together with their troop members. At times all they want is a little act of kindness to show them how much we appreciate them.
One good Samaritan knew this too well, and he was keen enough to grab the opportunity at the least expected time.
On one Wednesday, in March 2016, over 30 National Guard troops training in Belmont Armory went to have lunch at Corner Bar located in Rockford, Michigan. On the other end of the restaurant was another customer who was enjoying his meal and minding his own business.
After all the troop members ordered their different helpings, the customer did the unexpected. He requested to talk to the manager.
Emma Boehms, the manager, had a server come up to her saying a guest wanted to speak to a manager. So she was initially wary.
“Typically when that happens, you start to wonder, ‘Oh no, what am I going to hear?'” Boehms recalled.
However, this case was different. The customer said he wanted to pick the tab for the entire troop in the restaurant in recognition of their selfless service to the country. However, he requested to remain anonymous.
Boehms said she confirmed with the patron many times about his intent to cover the bill. They eventually decided to calculate the totals, which was $179.92 after a discount. The generous customer, however, paid the total amount for the troop in addition to a 25 percent tip which totaled to $200.
In a statement, the manager who was dedicated to honoring her promise of keeping the customer’s identity anonymous said she was shocked that one would do such a selfless act on a whim.
“We all wanted to say thank you,” several soldiers said after the fact.
The Corner Bar management recognized this act of kindness and also planned a catering event at the armory for the other service members who did not get a chance to visit the restaurant on that day. Lisa Watson, one of the people present at Corner Bar during the whole ordeal also recognized the anonymous customer for his kind act. She said the management conducted the process silently such that most people at the restaurant including her didn’t realize what was happening around them. She later came to learn about it through Corner’s Bar Facebook page after they posted about Customer picks up tab for Michigan National Guard at restaurant incident a few minutes after it happened.
“They happened to come in, they happened to be there, I think he just wanted to do his part to say thank you,” Boehms said.
Lieutenant Colonel William Humes who is the spokesperson for the Michigan National Guard stated that the kind act by the anonymous benefactor showed the highest level of appreciation to the servicemen. She went on to say that they were “nothing but grateful” for the gratifying and humbling experience for the troop members were part of the team that was taking part on a 3-day training for logistics and maintenance at Michigan.
Service men and women are always on the first line when it comes to protecting the country and its citizens. Therefore, a little recognition is not only essential for them, but it goes a long way in showing them that someone else cares about them as well. Remember, an act of kindness does not depend on how much that you have to give but your willingness to make another person smile and feel appreciated.