As a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, I have always been proud to serve my country and my corps.
I have never let myself think that my country owed me anything for my service. I did my time with honors, got out, started a family, worked until retirement and continue to do community services by participating in military funerals for our deceased veterans.
I proudly wear my veterans baseball cap on a regular basis. The other warm day I decided to treat myself to an ice cream at a Dairy Queen along Route 65 in Bellevue. I was waiting in line behind a young lady while she got her order, and she told the attendant that she wanted to pay for whatever I was having.
I told her she didn't have to do that, but she said she wanted to. I shook her hand and thanked her and told her I would pay it forward. She said, "Thank you for your service and everything you did." She gave me a nice smile and was on her way.
I didn't think to ask her name, but rest assured that she has restored my faith in our young people.
Group in car put brakes on to help couple with bad tire
About a mile away from church after leaving it on a recent Sunday, my wife and I heard a rumbling noise from the front of the car.
We found space to pull off the road to investigate, and a car with two men and two ladies drove up behind us, seeing that we were in trouble. They all got out of their car to help see what our problem was.
The two men immediately found that we had a very flat tire. Without our asking them to help, they got the spare tire and jack from the trunk, replaced the flat tire and got us on our way within 20 minutes or so. We found out the names of the men -- Bob and Sam -- but they would not accept anything for their assistance.
We probably could have fixed the problem ourselves, but taking several hours longer, and we were thus very appreciative for their help. How great it is to know there are such nice people in the world.
Rather than give directions, they led motorist to her goal
I was preparing to do taxes, and the gentleman at the IRS office in Monroeville told me some Pennsylvania tax instruction booklets had come in but were already all gone. So I stopped at the Monroeville library.
"We don't have those, but this is where you go," the library greeter told me. She wrote down the name of state Rep. Joe Markosek and the street number for his office on Northern Pike, though she didn't know exactly how to get there.
A couple leaving the library before me held the door open for me, and I turned to them for help. The gentleman started giving directions, but the lady said, "Why don't we have her follow us?"
Not only did they guide me, but they turned into the parking lot of the large building on Northern Pike to point out just where the office was. This delightful couple revealed that they were paying forward a favor that they had enjoyed in Switzerland.
I asked their names, but my (ancient) memory has deserted me. I can only say it's people like these who brighten our days, and I too will pay it forward.
Nice talk in checkout line results in gracious gesture
I was in Kuhn's Market on McKnight Road in February for my last stop of the day, and I was tired and anxious to get home. I had stopped there for just doughnuts and a box of crackers.
I got in the express lane and started talking to a lovely woman in front of me. She whispered something to the clerk who was checking her out. Before I knew it, I found out she had paid for my two purchases as well as her own. She turned around and said to me, "Happy new year."
Pittsburgh has the nicest people. I hope she sees this and knows how pleasant she made the rest of my day.
Has someone done you right? Send your Random Act of Kindness to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Portfolio, Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.