Mom takes photo of military son before waiter says something unexpected—then she sees it in the pic

September 29, 2017 1:55 pm Last Updated: September 29, 2017 2:55 pm

Military mom Heather Almond is no stranger to kind acts simply for the sake of making the world a better place. After all, parents of soldiers know exactly how selfless people can be.

Sometimes, though, the little acts can get forgotten.

Luckily, Almond and her family aren’t going to forget this simple act of paying it forward anytime soon.

While her son was stationed at Fort Benning for his basic training, Almond went to visit him with her sister and mother, intending to take the young soldier out for a nice lunch.

The family spared no expense. They headed for a Japanese restaurant—knowing it was her son’s favorite—and Almond estimated that, when all was said and done, the whole family had consumed close to $100 worth of sushi and other tasty treats.

No one came up to the family in the restaurant to thank Almond’s son for his service, but one kind woman decided to pay it forward in a much more subtle way.

After the meal was finished, Almond gestured for the check, ready to shell out the cash required from this particular visit with her children.

To her surprise, the server came over empty-handed. The entire meal, costly as it was, had been paid for by another patron in the restaurant—someone who hadn’t come up to make their presence known, just subtly requested the tab and took care of it before leaving the building. Almond was floored.

It was later on when Almond believes she identified the kind stranger. Upon glancing through her phone, she noticed a woman sitting quietly in the background of a photo she’d taken of her son prior to the end of their meal. He was dressed up in his full fatigues for the lunch, but that wasn’t all Almond had captured in the photo; she’d also managed to get a shot in the background of a woman at a nearby table. It was this woman, Almond is sure, who managed to snag the check long before the family was ready to pay for it—ensuring that her good deed was accomplished well in advance.


The woman, of course, hadn’t identified herself—simply telling the server to let Almond know to thank her son for his service.

For Almond and her family, though, it “meant the world.”

This certainly isn’t the only time we’ve seen civilians take advantage of restaurant anonymity to pick up tabs for the nation’s servicemen and women. From a $400 check picked up to the Ruby Tuesday server who paid for her table’s tab, plenty of people out there are always at the ready to pay it forward.

Every time someone does something similar, though, it inspires the next family to pay it forward themselves. That’s exactly what Almond has promised to do; now that someone has paid it forward to her and her soldier at Fort Benning, she hopes to get the opportunity to do something similar in the future.

For now, though, she’s left feeling grateful for the anonymous woman at the Japanese restaurant in Georgia.