The moment the man took his first step, the restaurant became quiet once more. The two of them met eyes as Ian, donning his favorite U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran cap, straightened up.
He initially didn’t care about the men, but after noticing that they were fixated on him, he gave them close attention. His stomach began to churn at what he saw.
A Horrible Experience
That night, Ian merely wanted to spend more time with his wife and eat his favorite meal when he went to his neighborhood restaurant.
Ian was relieved that the day was finally ending because it had been a difficult one. But they would be shaken by what would befall him and his wife in that restaurant.
The Perfect Couple
Essie, his wife, and Ian resided in a little community on the fringes of South Carolina. The couple had been together for fifty years and had amassed a wealth of experiences.
Frank, who was proud to have served in the Vietnam War, spent time with his army buddies, and his wife owned a bakery. As he entered the restaurant, he had no idea where his identity would lead him.
Their Favorite Meal
Essie and Ian both loved to partake in a variety of pastimes and hobbies. One of them involved going to a nearby eatery for the finest steak and eggs Ian had ever tasted.
Their regularity at the joint dates back decades. Their first visit to the restaurant was during the late eighties when its owner opened it. It was unexpected that he would encounter strangers who would brazenly approach him.
A Pleasant Day
For Ian, the day got off to a good start. Outside, the sun shone brightly, and the air was crisp. The 70-year-old veteran took a shower and ate a substantial breakfast before bidding his wife farewell and getting to work on his car in the garage.
In the afternoon, he spent time at a friend’s house for quiet afternoon before visiting his wife’s bakery for lunch. He and Essie would later go on a drive to the restaurant together.
When Ian and Essie entered, the establishment was crowded with customers. Fortunately, the management found them a table, and the two sat down right away.
They placed their standard order of sirloin steak and eggs with plenty of chimichurri and Worcestershire sauce. The two talked while waiting eagerly and enjoying the passion fruit cocktails their server had brought them. The event took place at that time.
A Change In Atmosphere
The diner became silent as five enormous men entered, creating the atmosphere of an old-west movie. They swiftly located a booth in the diner’s farthest corner after hastily scanning the area.
Ian initially ignored them. He had encountered many big, trouble-seeking males in his life. He was unaware that the men were already interested in him and his wife.
Eating Their Meals
When Ian and Essie’s meals arrived, they both ate swiftly and thoroughly. One of the men suddenly stood up from the chair as they carried on eating.
As one of his companions nodded at him, he turned around, a massive fellow with an intimidating appearance made up of chiseled muscles. Ian was in the center of his burning gaze.
In a moment, the restaurant was once again quiet as the man took his first step. The two of them made eye contact as Ian, sporting his beloved U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran cap, sat up straight.
Initially ignoring the males, Ian paid close attention to them after noticing their attention was diverted to him. His stomach twisted at what he witnessed.
Teaching Them A Lesson
Each of the men had a neat, sharp haircut, and given their muscular bodies, it was obvious that they were all in the military.
Ian switched his attention back to the person moving closer. The man’s look was unlike any he had ever seen. He ought to have been concerned that they picked him out, but he wasn’t. He was going to teach them a very important lesson.
Tricks Up His Sleeve
Ian squared his shoulders as the man reached his table. In his days in service, he’d met a handful of service members who enjoyed causing trouble.
Ian had always believed in respect. If these five men were out to cause trouble, he’d show them that despite his age, he still had a few tricks up his sleeve. He only hoped it wouldn’t get to that.
A smile stretched across the man’s face. But it wasn’t a malicious one. Ian’s brows quirked as his lips curled to match the man’s smile. What was happening?
“We saw your cap, sir,” the man began after greeting Essie too. “We wanted to thank you for your service.” Ian’s mouth fell open. He thought it was over when another man from the five came. They would leave Ian in tears.
“I want to thank you for all five of us,” the man began. Ian thanked and wished them the best in their careers. The men returned to their table, leaving a stunned Ian and Essie.
The couple finished their dinner and asked for their check. Ian hadn’t expected any of this to happen. He didn’t know what the men had done behind his back.
The waiter brought the check, and to Ian’s surprise, it was cleared. The waiter pointed at the five men in the corner, who waved back with smiles.
Across the check, the men had written “Semper Fi” and “Oorah,” which brought Ian to tears, given that he had served in the Marine Corps. Could anything be more heartwarming?
A Wholesome Moment
Wiping his tears, Ian stood up. But as he helped Essie to her feet, four of the men filed over to his booth. Each of them shook Ian’s hand, hugged him, and walked to his side.
The last man walked over and, after shaking and hugging Ian, gave him the sharpest salute he’d ever seen. “He fought for us. Now it’s our turn,” the men said while talking to the town’s local news. What a wholesome group of servicemen!
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.