Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that suggest more and more people all across the country are performing random acts of kindness even amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jonathan and Stephen Full were at the North Roxboro Street Chick-fil-A in Durham with their children when two service members walked into the restaurant in their uniforms
Jonathan immediately decided to treat them to their meals in remembrance of his stepbrother who’d committed suicide a week prior. His stepbrother had been suffering from severe PTSD after his return from a tour in the Middle East.
Jonathan said: “It’s always been on my mind to pay for some military members’ meals when I get the chance. It just hit me real good in my heart to do it then. And it just happened.”
As the Full brothers watched, more service members walked into the restaurant.
Jonathan recalled thinking: “Man is there a bus dropped off somewhere? Did we just hit the motherload here. What felt moving through my heart is I didn’t care if 200 more showed. I was still going to buy the meal.”
Stephen took photos of his brother with the service members, and recalled Jonathan telling them as he shook their hands: “Save your money for something more than just feeding yourself. Let us take care of you since you take care of us.”
Jonathan’s 4-year-old son commented on the random act of kindness, “What are ya crazy!? There’s not going to be any food left!” Then he kept eating his chicken nuggets.
The Full brothers chose to share their story so others could also pay it forward.
“The real hometown heroes are the ones whose meals were paid for,” Stephen said, to which Jonathan replied, “A little random act of kindness never hurt nobody.”
We really want to be the gathering place for North Durham and the gathering place for all people. And so this is just a great opportunity that really exhibits that and we are so thankful for that person,” Matt Rice, the manager of that Chick-fil-A location, said.