A Young Man Tells A Veteran 'I'm Grateful For You' And Pays For His Items At Walmart

March 20, 2018

A woman standing in line at a Walmart in Ankeny, Iowa, watched a random act of kindness unfold right in front of her so she snapped a few photos and shared the wonderful story on Facebook.

youn man pays for veterans order at Walmart
Photo credit: Alana Ruthann

Written by Alana Ruthann

"There I was caught in the rush of life yesterday at Walmart Ankeny. Annoyed I was standing in a line, God forbid I wait for something in this ‘instant- I need it now life'... holding a few items in my hands ready to celebrate St. Paddy's festivities, absorbed in my own world of technology, looking down at my phone, I didn't even notice the two gentlemen standing in front of me until I heard an older mans voice in confusion declare, 'Wait, what is happening? What are you doing?!'

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.'

The older man was caught off guard with a loss for words, fumbling his gloves in his hands and trying desperately to hold in his emotion, as was I. Just as quickly as he scanned his card and paid for the items, that young man said another thank you and quickly left. The veteran was still in shock as he was handed his items he asked, 'What do I do now?' To which the cashier responded with a warm smile, 'You have a good day!'

It was that moment I realized I had TWO heroes in line in-front of me. My heart welled as I watched our veteran readjust his Veteran ball cap, straighten up, and hold his head with pride as he walked out knowing someone was grateful for him. What a feeling- in this life where we rush through with our eyes down at a screen full of negativity and disagreements - to have someone simply say 'I'm grateful for you.'

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.

Thank you Ankeny Angel- we needed you."

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