Waiter Comes up to Lone 91-Year-Old Vet to Talk Not Realizing the Conversation Is Being Overheard
Sitting in a restaurant, one man had memories of war, a full life, and untapped stories which, although fascinating, he felt no one wanted to listen - until one young man came along.
Since the pandemic began, especially with worldwide lockdowns, many have become more acquainted with feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Many of us don't realize that many of the elderly have been dealing with this struggle for a much more extended period -- truly in need of some empathy and company.
A GOLDEN HEART
In 2019, one elderly man who is a regular at the establishment was enjoying a meal at Eat'n Park restaurant in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, all on his lonesome. His waiter, 24-year-old Dylan Tetil, was attentive and caring.
They spoke about the vet's experience in World War 2.
The radiology student who had only been working at the restaurant for three months dropped on his knee to be able to hear the World War 2 veteran's order.
MANY STORIES TO TELL
Opening up to the young man, he apologized for his poor hearing, explaining that it resulted from combat and he didn't have his hearing aids with him.
The senior citizen also confessed that he didn't have many people he could interact with. He touched the server's heart, and so upon returning with his food order, the waiter offered to sit with his customer.
According to Tetil, they spoke about the vet's experience in World War 2, the fact that he doesn't feel appreciated, and his life in general.
A CURIOUS ONLOOKER
While it is a commonplace for many of us to share our kind gestures online, Tetil chose not to. But, he was unaware that someone was watching and listening to his kind-hearted gesture, ready to share it with the world.
Among other individuals looking on at the gesture, Lisa Meilander was one. She took pictures of the interaction and shared them on Facebook, tagging the Good Samaritan in them.
TAKING TO THE WEB
The one snapshot was of the young man kneeling to talk to the veteran, while the other was a picture of him sitting and conversing with the customer at the table.
The post went utterly viral, accumulating 13,000 reactions, just over 1000 shares, and bordering on 1000 comments.
AN ONLINE FRENZY
The comment section was full of admiration for the young man's kind actions. Many said that the post made them cry, with Linda Young commenting:
"This did bring tears. I know Dylan really made this gentleman's day! So thoughtful & considerate."
Several people just expressed how much they loved the story, with many commending the waiter for his golden-hearted decision.
A significant number also appealed to their faith, with many sending their blessings to the kind-hearted waiter. One penned:
"God knows there is good out there."
This radiology student didn't only cause a domino effect of kind platitudes in comment sections but also influenced other customers in the actual restaurant. A significant number offered to pay for the elderly individual's meal.
CHANGING A LIFE
Just like the elderly man, left to his own devices and all alone, we sometimes forget that our senior citizens can be some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
One 73-year-old grandmother, Pamela, found herself in a disastrous position. After the tornado that hit many Kentucky towns in December 2021, she was left homeless.
Miraculously, an organization called the Dream Relief Foundation raised money for her to buy a new home. Upon receiving the news, she burst into tears, expressing deep gratitude.
Not many of us will be able to buy any senior citizen, no less our grandparents, a house, but what we can do is listen to their war stories or the story of the first boy they had a crush on.
Far from being helped on a practical level - numerous people just want to be heard and feel as though they are not alone.