On Sunday, a Vietnam veteran took his normal trip to Walmart in Ankey to purchase some groceries — but he did not expect to leave without paying a penny.
Alana Ruthann shared a heartwarming story to Facebook of an elderly veteran standing in the checkout line wearing a hat indicating his served in the military.
In the blink of an eye she heard some commotion in front of her and looked up to realize a young man had just honored the veteran by paying for his purchases.
“I didn’t even notice the two gentlemen standing in front of me until I heard an older man’s voice in confusion declare, “Wait, what is happening? What are you doing?!” wrote Ruthmann.
“I looked up from my phone to see a younger man in front of the older gentleman respond, “Sir, I’m paying for your items because you paid by serving my country and I’m grateful for you.”
There I was caught in the rush of life yesterday at Walmart Ankeny. Annoyed I was standing in a line, God forbid I wait…
Ruthann explained that both she and the veteran were in complete shock, as seen in the second photo.
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Before departing Walmart, the younger gentleman tell the veteran, “Thank you.”
Still dumbfounded by this act of kindness, the veteran asked the cashier, “What do I do now?”
“You have a good day,” the cashier replied.
“It was that moment I realized I had TWO heroes in line in front of me,” wrote Ruthann in the now viral post.
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After gathering his composure, the veteran left Walmart with his head held high.
“That 20-second interaction didn’t just change the veteran’s day — it changed my day, as well as that cashier’s — because that 20 seconds showed us by looking up and slowing down life is pretty beautiful and surely we can find something to be grateful for,” wrote Ruthann.
This act of kindness serves as a gentle reminder to honor our veterans.
They sacrificed their lives to serve our country, and now it is our duty as Americans to serve them.
–Kylie Handler is a news editor for The Horn News