Members of the armed forces are held in high regard for a reason. While on the job, they risk their life for the sake of others and the country they’ve sworn to protect.
But what about when they return home? Do they “punch out” and cease to be the altruistic guards of fairness and safety? Of course not. Instilled values aren’t a switch to be turned off and on.
For Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Robert Risdon, doing the right thing isn’t just part of his job—it’s his character.
As a military man, father, and football coach, integrity is one of his dearest tenets.
That’s why it came as no surprise to those who know him to see a video of the man in action. Risdon was unaware the camera was rolling as he practiced what he preached last year.
While dining at a Taco Bell in Alabama, LTC Robert Risdon was approached by two boys, then 9 and 13, who were trying to sell homemade baked goods.
The original video was posted by Jacob Gibson on his personal Facebook page.
“I was in a Taco Bell tonight when two kids came in trying to sell home made desserts for money. I overheard a soldier ask the kids if they were hungry and told them to follow him to the counter, he would buy them dinner,” the post reads.
Throughout the video, the kids appear hesitant to accept Risdon’s kindness. He urges them to order what they want, even offering suggestions when he sees their bashfulness. When the older of the two boys says he doesn’t want a drink, Risdon insists.
Unable to purchase anything that they were selling, Risdon asked them if they had eaten dinner. When they said they hadn’t, he told them to follow him to the counter.
The two boys looked “cold and wet,” Risdon said via the Huffington Post. After purchasing meals for them, he invited them to come and sit with him.
Risdon would learn that they were selling the baked goods to raise money for their church. The three finished their food and were ready to part ways when the younger of the boys told Risdon something that made a lasting impression.
“While eating his taco, he told me he wanted to be just like me someday and saluted me when he left the Taco Bell,” he said.
He allowed the kids to order whatever they wanted. The younger boy told the soldier, “I want to be just like you when I grow up.”
Risdon says he is surprised by how much attention he is getting for a simple act of kindness.
“I’m kinda embarrassed and humbled by the praise and don’t need it. I am a believer that we live in the best country in the world with the best people and that acts of kindness happen every day,” he said.
The LTC says it was his duty to help them.
“Helping them was an easy decision — more of a reaction,” he said. “It was the least I could do for two young Americans.”
I was in a taco bell tonight when two kids came in trying to sell home made desserts for money. I over heard a soldier ask the kids if they were hungry and told them to follow him to the counter, he would buy them dinner. I had to video it and share. Our troops are always taking care of us. Thank u LTC Robert Risdon please please share this….I heard the little one say I want to be just like u when I grow up and saluted him.
Posted by Jason Gibson on Tuesday, January 26, 2016