It was just another morning for Samantha Ford. She’d been with her two kids at at neighborhood Dunkin’ Donuts outside Boston and as she gazed out the window toward the parking lot, she noticed what looked to be a ticket stuck onto her windshield. The morning just got worse. As the kids clamored back in the car minutes later, she reached over to grab the unwelcome ‘gift’ tucked into the window and that’s when she noticed it wasn’t a ticket after all. It was a note written on the back of an envelope… accompanied by two $20 bills.
Shocked, she looked around to see who might have left it but no one obvious appeared to be in the area. With money in hand, she read the note and was stunned to tears:
“I noticed the sticker on the back of your car. Take your hero out to dinner when he comes home. Thank you both for service. Him deployed and you for waiting. — United States Veteran, God Bless”
The car sticker the veteran referenced reads, “Half my heart is in Afghanistan,” where Ford’s boyfriend is currently deployed. She was so moved by the anonymous vet’s random act of kindness that she took a picture of the note and money and posted it on the “Our Deployment: 101 ” Facebook page (which describes itself as a collection of “military affiliate people just looking for kindness and inspiration”), adding this note of her own:
Samantha Ford > Our Deployment: 101
“I just thought I would share with you all what happened to me today! Came out of Dunkin Donuts and found this under my windshield wiper. There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now. Tears in my eyes. I just wish I could thank whoever did this! God bless our troops and all of those who stand behind them. ♥”
As amazing stories like this are wont to do, the post went viral. As of this writing it has 1,691,239 “likes” and countless comments from people, some touched by the veteran’s act, others sharing their own stories of deployment.
The Today Show found the story moving, as well, and got in touch with Samantha. In an email correspondence, Samantha shared some of her thoughts. From TodayNewsToday:
“It was crazy!!” Ford told TODAY.com via email. “He was so touched and he said it’s people like this that make him proud to be an American Soldier. We are forever grateful and we will DEFINITELY be paying it forward! God bless our troops!”
Ford said she hopes the photograph will draw attention and recognition to the nation’s service members.
“They are all heroes. I just happen to be in love with one,” she said.
Her deployed boyfriend, Albert DeSimone, is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Ga.
Both Ford and DeSimone look forward to that dinner together when he gets home, courtesy of the “amazingly kind and heartwarming gift” from an anonymous vet, but mostly they want to convey how truly moved they are by the thoughtfulness and generosity of a stranger.
“We are forever grateful and will DEFINITELY be paying it forward… it’s amazing to know that there are still people in this world as beautiful as this individual,” she said. [Source]
Indeed, it is.