Jonathan Full didn’t hesitate before choosing to pay for the meals of 11 servicemen and women at a local Chick-fil-a in Durham, North Carolina, choosing to honor his late stepbrother who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The man’s brother, Stephen Full, told the story on Facebook, sharing his pride in his brother’s kind gesture. Many on social media have responded to Jonathan’s generosity, and his desire to raise awareness of PTSD among veterans.
“[My] message to them was to reach out to their fellow servicemen and help anyone with PTSD because I just lost my brother to it,” Jonathan Full told Yahoo Lifestyle. “It was a way for me to express my gratitude for what they do and help me grieve for my brother, … And [I wanted to] give back to them for what burdens they will now carry for life to help us.”
It was a normal day in March, when Jonathan, who works as an equipment technician, and his brother, Stephen Full, took their children to Chick-fil-A to give their wives time to shop, CBS News wrote. Two servicemembers entered the restaurant and went to order their meals. Jonathan “immediately got up and went to pay for their meal,” wrote Stephen on Facebook. “Little did he know, about 9 more walked in lol. He didn’t’ even bat an eye and asked everyone in line to allow the 9 come to the front of the line.”
While Jonathan Full was with the soldiers, Stephen said he took the opportunity to explain to his son and nephew “how it was Jonathan’s honor to be able to buy them a meal and say thanks for our freedom and thanks for keeping us safe,” Stephen Full told Yahoo Lifestyle.
“This is how good starts, with teaching our kids and showing them how to show respect and honor,” he said.
“As he paid for their meals, in remembrance of our late brother Joshua who suffered mentally from severe PTSD, he asked them to reach out to anyone they knew with PTSD and try their best to get them the help they needed. We thanked them for their service and left. Taught our boys to take care of the people that take care of us. Please share this, in expanding efforts for PTSD support for the men and women that fight for our country every day,” wrote Stephen, in the conclusion of his story.
Facebook responses have shown the extent to which this act of kindness has touched onlookers. One of the servicewomen’s partners, who Jonathan Full purchased a meal for, responded with thanks. “We both serve I the military and understand the struggles our brothers and sisters in arms face,” she said. “Even those small gestures mean so much. We’re terribly sorry for your loss.”
Through the praise, the Full brothers hope that people ultimately remember to “take care of the people who take care of us with their lives.”
“I want serviceman and women to know that PTSD is not always visible. Please, please talk to someone,” said Stephen to Yahoo. “I know you are broken, but we can put the pieces back together and get you fixed, make you whole again.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Tom Pennington/Stringer