An Idaho World War II Army veteran hasn’t had to pay for his breakfast at a local diner in at least three years, and there’s a waiting list for future purchases.
Dan Rankin, 95, visits the Dueling Irons Restaurant in Post Falls, Idaho each morning anywhere from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. where he orders his favorite morning meal and strangers pay for it, but there is a waiting list to pay for his future breakfasts too, according to KULR 8 News.
The diner is used to Rankin and his list of patrons who want to show their appreciation, so they have arranged for people to phone the diner to leave a donation or a way to contact them when it’s their turn to pay.
This is just a small way that people are trying to pay it forward for Rankin’s service.
Rankin always dons his world war II cap, has his usual seat at the diner and normally has a lot of friends sitting with him. He is very well known there, and someone is always stopping by to say hi to him.
Rankin told WTHR News that his normal order at the diner is, “Sausage patties, hash browns, wheat toast, eggs. Once in a while, I change.”
He was a tank driver under George S. Patton and liberated concentration camps as he crossed Nazi Germany during WWII. Patton’s army led the U.S. effort to liberate the first concentration camp — the Ohrdruf camp in Thuringia, Germany.
After his service, Rankin was a truck driver up until the age of 89-years-old when he broke his hip and then retired.
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) April 13, 2019
“Sandy,” an employee at the diner, said, “the kindness of some people is just wonderful.”
One customer from the diner said, “Every time I go to pay for his meal, someone has already done it.”
Rankin became emotional when asked about all of the people who have and are waiting to show him an act of kindness.
“There’s not very many of us veterans from World War II,” Rankin said.
“348 World War II veterans die every day in the United States. 16 million Americans served, but by 2020, there will be fewer than 300,000 veterans left alive who fought in WWII,” KULR 8 News stated.