Two men from different generations, a World War II veteran and future airman, grabbed the attention of customers in a Missouri Burger King.
Tina Readus posted a Facebook message dedicated to the two men on her Facebook page on Oct. 17 after a touching encounter at a Burger King in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A teenage employee came out from the back of the restaurant to shake the hand of an elderly man in front of Readus and her mother.
The older man thought the employee wanted the coupon in his hand, but the teenager said, "Oh no, I just want to shake your hand and thank you for your service and for my freedom in our beautiful country," Readus wrote on Facebook.
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Readus said she almost cried, and asked the men if she could take a picture. The elderly man was 94-year-old Kenneth Haas, who served in World War II. The employee was Divante Nicholson, who said his father was in the military and that he planned to join the Air Force one day.
Readus wants others to share her post in hopes the men will see her "shout out." The photo had been shared more than 500 times in three days.
Joel Mendelson, a writer for the Alligator, wrote an opinion article saying veterans deserve more respect. He suggested giving veterans more help with basic needs, education and job training.
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Treatment of veterans, particularly those who are homeless, has been a topic of concern. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, more than 50,000 U.S. veterans are homeless and 1.4 million are at-risk due to poverty, poor living conditions and lack of support networks. Fox News reports that many veterans live on the streets for eight to nine times the length of their deployment.