The Angel at the Olive Garden

The Angel at the Olive Garden

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

The Angel at the Olive Garden

We differ from others only in what we do and don’t do, not in what we are.

Anthony DeMello

My husband was deployed in February 2003 to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. One Friday night after he had been gone for several months, my son and I joined my father for dinner at the Olive Garden. My son, who is a year old, is quite the entertainer, and he began engaging the waitress as soon as she came over to the table. After speaking with him for a while, she told me that he looked just like his dad. She assumed my father was my son’s father. I explained that his dad was in Iraq and that the man at the table was his grandfather. She told me that she would keep my husband and me in her prayers.

After a while, our dinner was served. We were enjoying ourselves at the table when a man walked up to the table and said, “Did I hear you say that your husband was in Iraq?”

I replied, “Yes, he is.”

He asked me if my husband was in the military, and I once again replied in the affirmative. The man then handed me a hundred-dollar bill, telling me to do him a favor and have dinner on him and buy my son something with whatever was left over. My eyes welled up with tears, and the man just walked away. I asked my father to follow him and get his name so that I could thank him. My dad went outside and followed the man to his car and asked for his name, but this lovely stranger refused to give my father any information. All he would say was that it made him sad to see a young mother and her son out while her husband was fighting a war.

Diane L. Flowers

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