Today, February 19, World War II vet Edmund Rusinek celebrates 92 years of life! He unselfishly chose to commemorate this special milestone by being a blessing to others.
Recently, at a local Chick-fil-A in Rossmoor, California, Edmund paid for about $1,500 worth of meals in cash and credit for active military members and their families. He also stuck around for three hours to meet and greet service members, who joyfully expressed their gratitude. Incredible!
According to the Orange County Register, this tradition of paying it forward has been part of Edmund’s tradition for almost half a century! Edmund was drafted into the army his freshman year as a student at The University of Michigan. Back in 1945, while actively participating in draftee training in Little Rock, Arkansas, Edmund and his friends would leave the base for Southern food. While dining at the restaurant, an elderly gentleman came up to their table and asked for a favor. “Will you let me buy your lunch? If you want to thank me, pass it down,” the man said. Going on to serve on the Czechoslovakian border for two years as a staff sergeant, Edmund never forgot that selfless gesture.
Edmund’s Chick-fil-A deed was a reminder to military members that “someone cares”. As I reflect on this story, I think about my grandparents’ contributions to my life. They never let up on supporting me, and that is when I realized their faithful hearts of service, regardless of how they physically felt. Whether it was through their love, financial assistance, conversations full of wisdom, or prayers, they let it be known to me, their family, and others that they cared.
A quote that many grandparents have shared throughout our lifetimes is that, “If I can just help someone along the way, then my living won’t be in vain.” No, you don’t have to pick up a restaurant tab to help someone, but there is something for you to do. Maybe it’s in your smile or your presence, encouraging someone having a difficult time. Maybe it’s in a financial contribution for charity or food and clothing for the homeless. Maybe it’s in visiting the sick or those behind prison walls. As you go through life, just think back on people that have supported you. Honor them by making a difference today so that the generation rising up can understand the need for service.