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Elderly Woman Pays for Veteran’s Groceries, Days Later a Whole Platoon Comes to Her House — Story of the Day

Sonali Bharadwaj
Jun 21, 2022
07:30 A.M.
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A kind elderly woman pays for a veteran's groceries when he falls short of money and gets an unexpected reward for her generosity a few days later when his whole platoon arrives at her house.

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Dorothy lived alone in her little house after her husband died of a heart attack several years ago, and their only son, Kevin, moved out. Kevin came to see her once a year, usually around Christmas or New Year's, but his visits had decreased in recent years, and she was mostly alone.

While she could afford a house helper, Dorothy did everything by herself, from cooking to cleaning to grocery shopping, because it was the only way she could keep herself busy and diverted from thoughts of how lonely she felt.

One day, Dorothy was purchasing the month's supplies at a grocery store when she overheard a man talking to the cashier.

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"Excuse me, miss," he told the cashier. "Does this store happen to have any vacancy? You see, I used to be in the military, but I'm now unemployed. I assure you I'll do the best work if I'm hired!"

After shopping, the man approached the cashier with a job request. | Source: Pexels

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The cashier looked sympathetically at him. "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't have any openings as of now. Besides, I'm not in charge of it. Perhaps you can speak with our manager, and he might be able to help you," she suggested, feeling sorry for the man.

"Oh, is that so?" murmured the man, defeated. "It's fine if there are no openings."

Dorothy was standing directly behind the man, waiting for her bill to be cleared. She deduced from the man's disheveled appearance that he was struggling and she wanted to help him. Luckily, she remembered a job ad she'd seen on a billboard on her way to the grocery store.

She introduced herself and informed the man about the job posting. The man, who introduced himself as John, thanked Dorothy for her help.

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By then, the cashier had finished checking out John's purchases and was collecting payment. Unfortunately, John's card wouldn't work and he didn't have enough money to cover his bill. He urged the cashier to remove some items, but Dorothy decided to step in to assist him.

"It's alright," she told him. "I'll cover for you."

Dorothy covered John's expenses when he fell short of cash. | Source: Pexels

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John insisted that he was fine, but Dorothy felt terrible for him and couldn't keep herself from helping him. "You served our nation once, John," she said, smiling. "So let me do my bit to thank you for it."

John teared up and couldn't stop thanking her.

After Dorothy cleared their bills, John volunteered to help her get her groceries to her home. Dorothy lived nearby and would often just walk, as she did that day, and she said she would manage. However, John insisted on taking her, so she agreed. He loaded her shopping bags in his car and and drove her home.

As Dorothy opened the door, she saw a whole platoon on her doorstep. "Good Lord!" she gasped.

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During their car ride, John told her about his military days and his family – his late wife and his two sons who lived abroad. Dorothy also talked about her family, mentioning that her only son rarely came to see her.

"I wonder if he forgot my birthday this year," she lamented. "He sends me postcards every year, but this year none came. My birthday is only a few days away. Sometimes I think kids grow up too quickly and move away from us..."

John helped Dorothy with her shopping bags and gave her a ride home. | Source: Pexels

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After John dropped her home, Dorothy invited him for tea, but he declined and said he'd make time for it some other day.

A few days went by, and Dorothy's birthday arrived. She found out at the post office that Kevin's postcard would be late, and so, the one thing she looked forward to every year for her birthday was not arriving on time.

Dorothy was sad and lonely, thinking it had to be the worst birthday she'd ever had. Suddenly, her thoughts were distracted by the doorbell. She wasn't expecting anyone and wondered who it could be as she proceeded to answer the door.

At first, she didn't find anyone or anything on her porch. But then she noticed a giant billboard in front of her house that said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOROTHY!"

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Near the billboard stood John with a bouquet of flowers in hand, and Dorothy couldn't keep her tears at bay as she saw him. "Oh, John!" she cried.

John surprised Dorothy on her birthday. | Source: Pexels

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John approached her and gave her the bouquet. "Many, many happy returns of the day, Dorothy. I hope you liked my surprise..." He smiled, and Dorothy hugged him. "Oh, you made my day! Thank you, John! Thank you so much!" she cried happily.

She invited him inside and served him tea. Soon, she heard the doorbell ring again. "Who is that now?" she exclaimed, and John smiled.

"I hope you don't mind. I invited a few more guests so your birthday wouldn't be so dull." He grinned. "Go ahead, open the door."

As Dorothy opened the door, she saw a whole platoon on her doorstep. They were about 18 men -- John's retired military friends. "Good Lord!" she gasped as she saw them holding presents and flowers for her, and they also brought a cake!

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Dorothy turned around and looked at John, smiling through tears. "This is my best birthday!" she cried.

"Won't you invite them inside?" he asked, glad to see her so happy.

Dorothy received a surprise birthday party. | Source: Pexels

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"Oh, I'm sorry. Please come in," she replied, wiping her tears and showing them the way inside.

As she sliced her cake, the men sang her the birthday song. Dorothy hadn't felt this good in a long time. She treated them to a lovely meal and cried as she opened their gifts one by one.

What can we learn from this story?

  • An act of kindness is always rewarded, sometimes in unexpected ways. When John fell short of cash at the grocery store, Dorothy didn't hesitate to help him, and she did so without expecting anything in return. A few days later, her generosity was unexpectedly rewarded when a whole platoon of soldiers arrived at her house to celebrate her birthday.
  • Life is a circle; what goes around comes around. When John struggled to settle his bill at the store, Dorothy stepped in to help him. Her thoughtfulness moved him to tears, and he knew he had to repay her. As a result, he prepared a surprise for her to thank her.
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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an older woman who was kicked out by her son to live in a roofless house until her younger son took charge of the situation.

This account is inspired by our reader's story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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