An incident occurred at a Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Durham, North Carolina that has left people feeling more grateful. Although people were not certain what was happening at first, in the end, it was clear that brothers Jonathan and Stephen Full were paying it forward for the many military service members living life after active duty in the United States.
The two brothers took immediate notice when two members of the military in uniform walked through the doors of the Chick-fil-A restaurant. Because Jonathan has a big heart, he knew exactly what he needed to do – pay for the meals. The reason he was doing it was actually very personal. His stepbrother had committed suicide the week before because he had not gotten adequate treatment for his symptoms of PTSD after returning home from a devastating tour of duty in Iraq. Jonathan’s stepbrother is hardly the only military veteran who is not getting proper mental health treatment. Suicide rates for veterans are disproportionately high compared to the rest of the population.
“It’s always been on my mind to pay for some military members’ meals when I get the chance,” Jonathan said. “It just hit me real good in my heart to do it then. And it just happened.”
Stephen happened to be there to witness his little brother’s generosity for the two service members. He snapped photos of the incident and shared them on Facebook so all could be there to honor them.
Stephen wrote, “Proud big brother moment.. we took the kids out to eat and hit Costco up, so Nikki and Alex could have some time together and shop. As we were eating in Chick-Fila, two military personnel walked in and began to order. Jonathan immediately got up and went to pay for their meal. Little did he know, about 9 more walked in lol. He didn’t even bat an eye and asked everyone in line to allow the 9 to come to the front of the line. As he paid for their meals, in remembrance of our late brother Joshua who suffered mentally from severe PTSD, he asked them to reach out to anyone they knew with PTSD and try their best to get them the help they needed. We thanked them for their service and left. Taught our boys to take care of the people that take care of us. Please share this, in expanding efforts for PTSD support for the men and women that fight for our country every day.”
As it turned out, there weren’t just two service members who had come to the restaurant. There were a lot more, and Jonathan was prepared to buy them all meals, although he could hardly afford it.
“Save your money for something more than just feeding yourself,” he told each one in turn. “Let us take care of you since you take care of us.”
Meanwhile, Jonathan’s four-year-old son watched his father demonstrate his respect to the soldiers and learned a valuable lesson in being a man.
“A little random act of kindness never hurt nobody,” Jonathan said. Those are words to live by.
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.