According to QSR Magazine, Taco Bell is the 4th most popular fast food chain in the country, thousands of people eat there every single day.
One of the stores’ patrons is an Army Ranger, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rizden.
He was ordering his dinner one night when he saw something that he knew he needed to do something about.
2 young boys, a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old, were alone at the restaurant and were going table to table trying to sell some homemade desserts.
The boys were trying to raise some extra money for their local church when the Lt. Col. approached them.
He looked at the boys and realized they looked cold and hungry.
He approached them and asked what they were up to and if they had eaten any dinner yet that day.
The boys explained what they were doing and that no, they hadn’t eaten yet.
Rizden realized he didn’t have any cash on him to give to the boys, but asked if he could help them in another way instead.
He led the pair to the front of the restaurant and told them to order whatever they wanted off the menu and that he would cover the bill for them.
The boys seemed incredulous at first but quickly figured out what they wanted and placed their orders.
The pair seemed ecstatic at being treated to dinner and the smiles on their faces were huge.
The younger boy danced around grinning as his older companion spoke to Rizden.
One of the other restaurant patrons noticed what was going on and decided to film the spectacle so that he could show how kind Rizden was.
When asked why he had decided to help the boys, Rizden simply said that he had fallen back on the creed he had taken when he joined the Rangers.
“Never shall I fail my comrades.” Rizden knew that these 2 boys, these 2 Americans, needed a little help and that it was his duty to help them.
And the impact of his kind act didn’t just resonate with the boys he helped or the other patrons of that Taco Bell.
The video displaying Rizden’s kindness has been viewed over a million times and has received almost 40,000 likes.
“Now that’s a patriot!” comments @twix7745, “A REAL PATRIOT!”
“A hero to his country and a man of infinite kindness too.” writes @Dagrdottir, “A credit to his uniform and an inspiration to these kids and many others.”
While Lt. Col. Rizden is a soldier, he is first and foremost a father.
With 2 young children of his own, Rizden knew that it could be intimidating to try and approach people and ask them to buy something to raise money, but these boys were hustling.
He saw their drive and knew that these boys were the future of his country, and he wanted to do something nice for them.
And what he did will surely never leave these boys’ minds or hearts.
“I want to be just like you when I grow up.” said the younger of the pair as he saluted the soldier.
Though it may have been an act as simple as buying a few meals, everyone who was involved, or witnessed, the interaction felt true American pride that day.