When Lieutenant Colonel Robert Risdon stepped into a Taco Bell restaurant to order some food for himself and a colleague, he suddenly spotted two boys coming in who were cold and hungry.
The army colonel saw a young man and his younger brother but noticed that they didn’t enter the restaurant to have dinner.
Instead, these boys were raising money for their local church.
They’re only 9 and 13 years old, but they’re already quite engaged in the local community and were more than happy to sell homemade desserts for a good cause.
The two boys asked the colonel and his colleague if they wanted to buy a homemade pastry for their church, but both of them didn’t have any cash with them.
Charmed by their kind actions, the Lt. Col. Risdon also couldn’t help but notice that they looked hungry. The soldier then simply asked them if they had already eaten that night and immediately offered to pay for their meal.
Jason Gibson, a customer waiting in line, was so impressed by this man’s kind gesture and decided to film their interaction. He posted it on his social media profiles, hoping to inspire others.
“I was in a Taco Bell tonight when two kids came in trying to sell homemade desserts for money… overheard a soldier ask the kids if they were hungry and told them to follow him to the counter, he would buy them dinner; I had to video it and share. Our troops are always taking care of us. I heard the little one say I want to be just like u when I grow up and saluted him,” he wrote on his YouTube profile.
The video absolutely went viral and was seen by almost three million people.
Lt. Risdon, who is also the head coach of the Colombus Lions football team, couldn’t believe all the attention he received and even admitted that he was a bit embarrassed. He says that giving them a warm meal was a complete no-brainer for him because he’s been through many cold and wet nights in the Army with nothing to eat.
“They looked like they hadn’t eaten a meal in weeks and had been out in the rain selling their stuff for a while,” Risdon told a reporter from TODAY. “I can’t even count the number of times I was cold, wet and hungry in the Army. To sit in warmth and eat some tacos is a big victory for them.”
He let both of the boys choose what kind of meal they’d like and asked if they would be able to eat a large box of tacos. The man paid for their entire dinner including drinks, and the boys very much appreciated the kind gesture.
“They both ate their first taco in under a minute,” customer Jason wrote. “I’ve never seen anyone devour food that quickly before.”
He also praised the kids for being so respectful and kind.
“Everything was ‘yes sir, no sir,'” he recalls. “Whoever is raising them is doing a great job.”
BJ, the youngest sibling, told the soldier that he wants to be just like him when he grows up, and that’s the biggest compliment that Lt. Col. Risdon could possibly get. Later, the man even taught him how to give a proper salute.
“He was saluting me with his left hand while holding a taco in his right, which is the proper hand to use,” he recalls. “So I made him put down the taco and taught him the proper way to salute, which will come in handy if he actually grows up to be a soldier.”
When Lt. Col. Risdon spoke with reporters about his act of kindness and his warm heart, he simply said that it was the least he could do and that he ‘was raised to do’. The man’s own children also went through his mind the whole time.
“My kids were running through my mind the whole time,” Risdon said. “The thought of my kids in their situation broke my heart, so it made me react and want to help the boys out and the least I could do was buy them some tacos.”
The Lieutenant Colonel spoke with the boys for a few minutes before leaving the restaurant, and he said that he hoped they would pay it forward. He didn’t have a single doubt in his mind when they promised that they would.
Watch the video below.
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