A Durham, North Carolina man decided to honor his late stepbrother, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), by buying meals for 11 servicemen at a local Chick-fil-A restaurant.
The story of the man's kindness and his attempt to raise awareness of PTSD among veterans has touched the hearts of many in Durham and on social media.
Jonathan Full and his brother Stephen were at the restaurant with their kids, giving their wives time to shop. When two servicemembers came into the restaurant, Jonathan saw them and walked up to the counter, offering to pay for their meal. By doing so, Full wanted to honor his late stepbrother Joshua Zamora, a Marine veteran who served for four years, struggled with PTSD, and who recently took his own life.
More servicemembers came into the restaurant, but Jonathan "didn't even bat an eye," Stephen wrote in a Facebook post.
"Proud big brother moment.. we took the kids out to eat and hit Costco up, so Nikki and Alex could have some time together and shop. As we were eating in Chick-Fil-A, two military personnel walked in and began to order. Jonathan immediately got up and went to pay for their meal. 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 to come to the front of the line," he wrote.
"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," Stephen concluded.
"While my brother was up and talking to the soldiers, I explained to my son and nephew about 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, 36, told Yahoo Lifestyle. "This is how good starts, with teaching our kids and showing them how to show respect and honor. "
"It was a way for me to express my gratitude for what they do and help me grieve for my brother," Jonathan, 34, told Yahoo. "And give back to them for what burdens they will now carry for life to help us."
Facebook users also responded to the act of kindness.
"A beautiful gesture of kindness and caring; not surprised at all but truly touched," one Facebook user wrote. "Thank you for treating them and for providing the guidance to others to do the same."
A partner of one of the servicewomen that Full purchased a meal for also responded to the post, thanking the brothers for their support. "We both serve in the military and understand the struggles our brothers and sisters in arms face," she wrote. "Even those small gestures mean so much. We're terribly sorry for your loss."
Although the Full brothers are grateful for all of the kind comments, the message they want to convey to people "is 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," Stephen Full told Yahoo. "I know you are broken, but we can put the pieces back together and get you fixed, make you whole again."