An 83-year-old veteran getting food at a fast food restaurant in Georgia was brought to tears when a group of young men saluted him and thanked him for his service.
Hayward Chandler was grabbing a meal at Steak ‘n Shake with his family when he noticed a group of young men searching for a place to sit.
Lisa Ely, Chandler’s daughter-in-law, told WSB they noticed there was not enough seating inside to accommodate the large group. The group decided to go back outside and put together tables and chairs so they would all be able to sit together.
Ely said she overheard one of the young men tell someone, “This way we won’t be too loud and bother folks trying to enjoy their lunch” as her husband pushed Chandler in a wheelchair to the restroom.
“I thought to myself, ‘Wow,’” Ely said.
When Ely struck up a conversation with the young men, they told her they were in training to be Marines.
As Ely’s husband wheeled Chandler outside, two of those young men held the door for them.
When Chandler passed by this group of 20-something-year-old Marines, every person in the group got up to shake his hand and thank him for his service, Ely said.
Once the family got ready to leave, the group of Marines waved goodbye. One Marine, however, decided to salute Chandler.
“Tears welled up in his eyes as he saluted back,” Ely said. “It was truly a humbling experience.”
Several stories of Marines showing respect for veterans have cropped up recently.
A group of Marines surprised a World War II veteran with an Honor Flight trip to Washington, DC, after the 92-year-old veteran was assaulted trying to protect his flags from vandals.