Everyone agrees that we need to treat our veterans well. It’s always good to hear a story where someone is being kind to them to show them our appreciation. One 92-year-old World War II veteran has a favorite restaurant: Chick-fil-A. Because he’s such a loyal customer and treats all the employees and other customers with respect they decided to do something nice for him. He’ll never have to pay for another chicken nugget for the rest of his life, all thanks to one franchise manager’s generosity.
“I like nuggets. And if you want a good one, this is the place to come,” Ernie told Fox59 in a recent interview about his daily lunch.
Ernie, from Avon, Ohio, has been going to the same Chick-fil-A for lunch for years now. The staff loves him, the other customers love him, and most of all, manager James Cooke loves him. On Veteran’s Day, they decided to surprise him with something that instantly brought a huge smile to his face.
“James came up with a really good idea as we were thinking of how to honor you,” restaurant owner Chris Tincher said in a Facebook video. “He said, ‘What if when Ernie came in, he never had to pay for Chick-fil-A again, when he came to our restaurant?’ So that was James’ idea, he wanted to honor you.”
They really meant it too! Ernie will never have to pay out of his own pocket for his favorite kid’s chicken nugget meal and his trademark root beer. There really is no better gift that a manager of the Chick-Fil-A could give this older gentleman and superfan of the brand.
Ernie, being old-fashioned and respectful, immediately refuses the offer.
“It was kind of a shock to me, I didn’t think I deserved a free meal,” Ernie said.
Tincher is a veteran too, and he assured Ernie that he definitely deserved the free meal and every single one in the future. There’s nothing that this owner wouldn’t do to make other veterans feel safe and happy in his restaurant, and that’s a pretty incredible thing!
“[Ernie] really does make people feel special. He’s almost more important to our staff than we are to him,” Tincher said. “I wouldn’t know what to do without him. He is definitely a bright spot in our day.”
Ernie is definitely feeling the love today, and he absolutely deserves it. Veterans have put their lives on the line to keep our country safe and secure, and yet often they are left behind by mainstream society. There isn’t another group of people more deserving of our respect and admiration that the veterans currently living in America.
“It just makes me feel good, it makes me feel good because people treat me nice,” Ernie said, finally accepting the kind offer.
More restaurants should honor veterans in a simple way like this. Many offer discounts, but this type of personalized service is truly admirable and wonderful to see.
What do you think of the manager and owner of Chick-Fil-A giving this honorable veteran free meals for life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!