Most of the headlines concerning veterans, lately, have had a very negative spin. This one is different. The kindness of a stranger in the bustling chaos of New York’s Penn Station is going viral, and for good reason.
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On Thursday evening, an old man stood in line, waiting for a train. Around his neck, he wore a sign that explained to those around him that he had very little hearing left.
That’s understandable, when you consider that he’s 99 years old. But it wasn’t the sign, or his advanced age, that caught one Amtrak worker’s attention. It was his hat.
The man, who’s name is Ed, was wearing a hat common among retired sailors. It read USN (United States Navy) Armed Services, WWII Veteran.
The Amtrak worker, named Dwayne, noticed Ed was standing in a line for a train to Baltimore. He immediately moved Ed up to the front of the line. Dwayne did his best to overcome the hearing problems, and explained how honored he was to have Ed on his train.
Dwayne shook Ed’s hand, and called over co-workers to do the same. Soon, a crowd had gathered. Dwayne then led everyone in a raucous round of applause for Ed’s service.
“Man, thank you so much,” Dwayne told Ed. “You paved the way for me.”
Response to Dwayne’s act of kindness has drawn nation-wide attention. In a time when our nation’s politicians can’t stop bickering long enough to get American veterans the services and care that they need, a simple act of kindness, like this, seems oddly inconsequential.
And yet it isn’t. There are very few WWII vets left. And Dwayne is absolutely right–without their sacrifices, we would have been lost a long time ago.