An Iowa woman captured an unexpecting moment between a senior veteran and a younger man at Walmart this month.
Alana Ruthann said that she was buried in her phone, "annoyed" that she was standing in line.
"God forbid I wait for something in this ‘instant- I need it now life’... holding a few items in my hands ready to celebrate St. Paddy’s festivities, absorbed in my own world of technology, looking down at my phone," Ruthann wrote on Facebook.
It wasn't until she heard a commotion between two men, she looked up.
"Wait, what is happening? What are you doing?" the veteran asked.
Ruthann pointed out that the veteran was wearing a had that indicated he had served in the military.
"Sir, I'm paying for your items because you paid by serving my country and I'm grateful for you," the younger man said.
Everyone in earshot was filled with emotion. The younger man paid for his groceries, but before leaving, he uttered a genuine "thank you."
According to Ruthann, the veteran was flustered and caught off guard. While still in shock, he asked the cashier what he should do now.
"You have a good day!" she replied back.
"It was that moment I realized I had TWO heroes in line in front of me," Ruthann said. "My heart swelled as I watched our veteran readjust his Veteran ball cap, straighten up, and hold his head with pride as he walked out knowing someone was grateful for him."
What a moment. Ruthann's post has touched thousands upon thousands of people. Her post has been shared nearly 10,000 times, with nearly 22,000 reactions, in a matter of just two days.
"In this life where we rush through with our eyes down at a screen full of negativity and disagreements - to have someone simply say, 'I’m grateful for you.' That 20-second interaction didn’t just change the veteran’s day- it changed my day, as well as that cashier’s- because that 20 seconds showed us by looking up and slowing down- life is pretty beautiful and surely we can find something to be grateful for."
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In other news, this young boy is angry about a veterans cemetery. See what he does to fix it here.