Society

Community Pays It Forward As A 'Thank You' To 93-Year-Old World War II Veteran

| by Brendan Kelly
Mr. GilbertMr. Gilbert

Every day, Mr. Gilbert, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, goes to a Subway restaurant for lunch in his hometown of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He no longer has to pay for his meals, though, after a simple act of kindness from a stranger months ago sparked a chain reaction in his community.

Gilbert orders the same Turkey sandwich day after day and engages others in conversation, sharing stories of his past and his time serving the country in World War II.

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

Mr. Gilbert, as his community affectionately refers to him, served until the end of World War II before returning to Alabama to start a family.

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"I got married and started the baby boom generation, I have two boomers," he added, smiling.

Months ago, someone decided to pay for Mr. Gilbert's lunch to thank him for his service after having a conversation with him at Subway, which started a chain of people pitching in to do the same. Mr. Gilbert now eats for free thanks to his generous community.

Now there has even been a Facebook page created to let people in the community know how they can join in to give thanks to Mr. Gilbert.

WAFF picked up Mr. Gilbert's story and now, according to the Facebook page, people from out of the area are trying to pitch in and pay for his meals as well. 

"The smile on Mr. Gilbert's face makes my day," the owner of the 'Buy Mr. Gilbert's Lunch' Facebook page wrote.

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

Sources: WAFF, Facebook

Photo Credit: WAFF, Facebook