For the past three to four years, a 95-year-old veteran from the second world war has had his breakfast paid for by fellow diners.
Dan Rankin usually makes his way to the Dueling Irons diner in Post Falls, Idaho, every morning between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., where he will usually order the same meal every day, according to multiple reports.
“Sausage patties, hash browns, wheat toast, eggs,” said the 95-year-old veteran. “Once in a while I change.”
According to KHQ-TV, Rankin usually comes in to sit at his usual seat either in the corner or in the front, and he usually doesn’t sit alone—he has an abundance of friends who sat at a table with him. In fact, Rankin is so well-known, people who frequent the diner comes up to him to say “Hi.”
Three to four years is a long time to get free meals, but it’s in good faith, and 95-year-old World War II veteran Dan Rankin has certainly earned it. KHQ Adam Mayer has more on this wonderful story.
His presence was such a constant inside the diner that people started asking to buy Rankin’s breakfast, so for the past three to four years, a random diner has been buying him breakfast.
There is something that sets Rankin apart from other people—Rankin wears a world war II cap, and as KHQ-TV learned, Rankin used to drive tanks under General George S. Patton during the war. He also aided in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.
“There’s not very many of us left from world war two,” Rankin said.
In fact, there is a waiting list of people wanting to pick up the tab for Rankin’s meals.
“Every time I’ve asked if I could pay for his meal, someone’s already done it,” one customer told KHQ-TV.
Rankin told KHQ-TV that there were so many contributions by people, surprising him and other veterans.
According to KHQ-TV, America loses 348 world war II veterans every day. About 16 million Americans served the war, but by the time 2020 comes, there will be fewer than 300,000 veterans left who fought in the second world war—still alive.
Veteran Celebrates Birthday
Duane Sherman, a 96-year-old World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient, has outlived nearly all of his friends. He was a chief sonarman aboard the U.S.S. Lamson—a destroyer that saw several battles in the Pacific.
For his 96th birthday, Sherman had no intention of celebration.
With all his friends gone, things weren’t as joyful as they used to be. But he had one wish: he wanted to receive birthday cards from everyone.
#ICYMI : this week on @CBSLA the daughter of a WWII #veteran asked you to send him birthday cards for his 96th birthday. She says he’s in heaven with all the love ???? you’re showing him. So keep ‘em coming everybody! Duane Sherman c/o Sue Morse PO Box 794, Highland, CA 92346 pic.twitter.com/KRYaSw58dP
— Nicole Comstock (@ComstockNEWS) December 7, 2018
Sherman’s daughter, Sue Morse revealed that her father loves receiving mail.
“Every day he said, ‘Oh have you checked the mail?’” she told CBS Los Angeles. “To get something in the mail … that, for him … that’s special.”
Morse, who lives with her father in Highland, California, told Orange County Register, “I wanted to him [sic] to feel special on his birthday.”
Thus, the creative daughter came up with the idea of requesting friends and acquaintances on Facebook to send her dad a birthday card.
The post was also shared on Patriot Guard Riders’ Facebook page, a motorcycle club Morse rides with that honors military veterans.
Morse was expecting only 160 cards for her dad’s birthday on Dec. 30.
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) March 5, 2019
Surprisingly, the impact of her message was so tremendous that her dad received more than 50,000 cards and letters to date.
“I was amazed, shocked and appreciative,” Sherman said. “All the good comments people made … it just brightened my day.”
Letters and cards have poured in from all the 50 states and over 20 countries.
Thousands of letters are stacked in Sherman’s home, thousands more are stored at a friend’s home, and then there are bins waiting to be picked up from the post office as well.
Ever wonder what 50,000 birthday cards look like? Now you know. ONLY ON @CBSLA – a WWII navy vet who didn’t feel like celebrating his 96th birthday is having the best day ever, thanks to strangers who shared his story all around the world. This one will give you all feels???????? ???? ???? pic.twitter.com/2Y9ddMPsaQ
— Nicole Comstock (@ComstockNEWS) December 30, 2018
The Epoch Times Reporter Ashok Ramprasad contributed to this article.