World War II Vet Pays $1,500 Chick-Fil-A Bill for Military Families

A World War II veteran performed an ultimate act of kindness when celebrating his 92nd birthday by touching the lives of others.

Edmund Rusinek celebrated his 92nd birthday early at his local Chick-Fil-A where he paid $1,500 worth of food for military families. This huge act of appreciation for our armed forces, isn’t the first time Rusinek has done something like this. The tradition dates back to 1945 when Rusinek was just a draftee before The War, he told The Orange County Register.

“This tradition, so to speak, got started in 1945 when I was a draftee training in Little Rock, Arkansas. To take a break from the GI food, some of my buddies and I left base for some good ol’ Southern food. At the restaurant, an elderly gentleman stepped up to us and asked, ‘Can you do me a favor? Will you let me buy your lunch? If you want to thank me, pass it down.’”

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Rusinek explains his time in the service,“We were preparing for the invasion of Japan. I had completed 16 weeks of training when the bomb was dropped (on Hiroshima).” However, instead of heading to Japan, he worked at the Czechoslovakian border as a staff sergeant for two years. Finding work at  North American Aviation in Downey, California after the war, Rusinek remained in the state where this sweet act occurred.

Living near the Joint Forces Training Base and the Naval Weapons Station in California, Rusinek said, “Fortunately, I live near an air base and a Navy base. There are lots of kids in the military around here, and they all look so young to me.”

“In preparation for his 92nd birthday on Feb. 19, Rusinek went into Chick-fil-A 11 days early to set up his generous giveaway. Manager Giola Arkis agreed to his terms and had nothing but positive words to say about him.“Edmund is a regular customer. He always comes in for a salad, cookies and coffee,” she said. ‘We call him our local sweet thing,'” according to Liftable.

Just looking to touch the lives of those putting their lives on the line to keep America safe Rusinek said, “I’m not a rich man,” he said, “but this, I can afford.”