BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. — A group of Cartersville youth made an 83-year-old veteran’s day.
Hayward Chandler of Cedartown was eating at Steak 'n Shake with his family when he saw a group of young men looking for seats.
Chandler’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Ely, tells Channel 2's Kimberly Richardson the group was rather large, and they soon realized there wasn’t enough room for all of them inside. They headed back outside and put some tables and chairs together so they would have enough room.
Ely said that while her husband wheeled Chandler to the restroom, she heard one of the young men saying, "This way we won't be too loud and bother folks trying to enjoy their lunch.”
“I thought to myself, 'Wow,' Ely said.
She ended up chatting with the young men. They said they were training to be Marines out of Cartersville.
“Then something happened that I will never forget,” Ely told Richardson.
Lisa explained that as her husband started wheeling Chandler out of the restaurant, two of the young men jumped up and held the door for them to come out.
“Keep in mind that not one of them is over the age of 20,” Ely explained.
As Chandler wheeled by them at their tables outside, Ely said that every single one of them got up from their food and shook his hand, thanking him for his service.
As the family got into their van to leave, they looked at them once more to wave goodbye. They all waved back, except for one particular young man. He saluted him.
“Tears welled up in his eyes as he saluted back,” Ely said. “It was truly a humbling experience.”
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