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Waitress pays for soldiers' meal
CONCORD, NH (WKRC) -- When a New Hampshire waitress overheard two of her customers saying they were furloughed soldiers, she decided to help out.
Her simple gesture of appreciation amid the lingering government shutdown has quickly spread online.
The waitress, Sarah Hoidahl, says it was a typical Wednesday afternoon shift her at the Ruby Tuesday in Concord, when two service members came in for lunch and sat in her section.
"They were looking through the menu and trying to decide what to get, and she had mentioned something about the furlough and said 'we're not getting paid,' and I thought oh jeez," she said.
Hoidahl, a single mother of a 15-month-old boy, says she knows how difficult it can be to make ends meet.
"Just thinking to myself: that must really be difficult because just because they income stops, it doesn't mean the bills do."
So, Hoidahl decided to pick up their tab, adding a note on the back of the check to express her gratitude for their service.
The note said, "Thanks to the gov. shutdown the people like you that protect this country are not getting paid. However, I still am. Lunch is on me! Thank you for serving lades! Have a good day!"
She says the reaction she got from the Guard members was more than she expected.
"I came out and they were our front waiting for me and just, instantly, came up to me and said "Sarah" and they hugged me. Their reaction was worth everything and I thought I didn't do thus huge thing -- I just bought you lunch, but thank you!"
News of her kind gesture quickly spread online when the New Hampshire National Guard posted a picture of Sarah and a copy of her note on their Facebook page.
"I think the most moving thing I saw on Facebook was people saying there should be more people like me in the world. That really got to me."
Hoidahl says she has friends who served in the military and her boyfriend is a marine. She admires what they do for us and says this was the least she could do for them.
"I mean they protect this country and they protect citizens like me so, a nice thing to do."