Strangers pay it forward to WWII vet as a 'Thank You'

Published: Sep. 30, 2015 at 8:46 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2015 at 9:30 PM CDT
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MUSCLE SHOALS, AL (WAFF) - A simple act of kindness has sparked a chain reaction for a North Alabama World War II veteran.

Strangers are buying the veteran lunch, as a way to say thank you.

Like clockwork, 93-year-old Mr. Gilbert goes to Subway for lunch, usually alone, but Wednesday his son is visiting from out of state.

Everyday it's the same turkey sandwich and conversation with those around him.

Sharing his contagious smile and a courageous past.

"I turned 20-years-old, 60 days later I'm in the Army and I went to the South Pacific," said Gilbert.

Mr. Gilbert as he's affectionately called, served our country through the end of World War II, ultimately returning to Alabama.

"I got married and started the baby boom generation, I have two boomers," said Gilbert.

Several months ago someone decided to pay for Mr Gilbert's lunch.

Sparking a chain reaction from strangers as a thank you for his service.

"It means a lot to me and I appreciate it, in fact I have been asking these fellas to tell me who's doing this because I want to thank them."

Restaurant employees say it's incredible to witness the kindness of others for a man they've come to know and love.

"It proves that people care about other people, it proves that customers realize and notice other customers and what they do and what they've done for us in the past," said Sander Tverberg, GM Jim Underwood's stores,

"It's really great that this customer has done this for Mr. Gilbert and our employees enjoy Mr. Gilbert coming in and the conversations they have with him."

"I've got a good thing going on I'm eating for free," said Gilbert.
There's even been a Facebook page that's been started, called 'Buy Mr. Gilbert's Lunch' with details on how you can join in.

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