My best friends and I were enjoying a wonderful meal at a local restaurant. We are Vietnam veterans (our hats indicate that).

A woman and her family stopped by our table and thanked us for our service to the country which, in itself, was wonderful. She commented that they came from a military family themselves. We shook hands and thanked them.

In a joking manner, I said that was the nicest thing anyone has said to me all that day, then smiled and truly thanked them.

A few minutes later, the restaurant manager stopped by our table and asked how our meal was. Then he dropped a bombshell on us and said our meal had been paid for.

It took a few moments to register what he actually said. Then we asked, “Who did that?” He told us that the family that had stopped by our table were the ones, but had asked him not to tell us until they had left.

That was a first for us.


So, how do you truly thank someone when you don’t know their names?

This is how: Thank you and your family for your kindness. Your generosity was truly overwhelming and, rest assured, we will pay it forward.

Again, thank you.

Phillip Webber, Lisbon

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