A soldier whose random act of kindness took over the internet says he simply did what he was “raised to do.”
Lt. Col. Robert Risdon was headed back to Ford Benning, Georgia from Alabama, with his friend on January 26th, 2016, when they stopped in at a Taco Bell in Greenville, Alabama to get some food.
While they were there at the store, two boys, aged 9 and 12 years respectively, walked in trying to sell some “homemade baked goods”. The boys came up to Risdon and asked if he would like to buy some. Risdon didn’t have any cash on him, so instead, he decided to buy the boys dinner.
Risdon described the brothers as “great kids” and “super respectful” to ABC News. He said that the boys were soaked from the rain and looked hungry. When he asked them, they said yes, and he offered to buy them dinner from the menu.
Risdon told ABC News: “It seemed like a very small gesture I could do for two kids that were trying to make some money in the rain on a school night,” said** Risdon, who is currently stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. “So, absolutely it was my duty to at least get them something to eat.”
After Risdon bought the boy’s dinner, he said the younger boy told him, “You know, I want to be just like you some day.”
The boy then saluted Risdon with his left hand, and he helped the child and his brother learn the correct way to salute, which is “always with the right arm.”
Little did Risdon know that his friend Jason Gibson caught the whole thing on camera. He later posted the video on his Facebook page, and has been viewed over 200,000 times shared over 5,000 times.
Risdon said that he was “blown away” by the reaction his act or kindness had received. He also revealed that in the three days since the video was posted, he had received messages from people from all over the world.
He admitted that he was embarrassed about all the exposure and that he did not deserve the attention he was receiving. He told the boys not to pass up an opportunity when they were older and in a position to help.
Here is Jason Gibson’s original Facebook post that made the video go viral:
Here is ABC News’ interview with Lt. Col. Risdon as well: