Soldier shocked by strangers at Applebees

When Army Specialist Scott Stranne returned from his first tour in Afghanistan recently, he was eager to get back to a tradition he and his friends had. Every Thursday about 20 of them get together to ride their motorcycles and catch up and for their first ride and dinner with Stranne back, the group ate at Applebee’s in Lacey, Washington.

"It was like a welcome home thing, so I could see everyone," Stranne says. "Some new people in the group asked me about Afghanistan." As they were finishing their meal, the server asked to speak with the “returning soldier” and they thought they might get scolded for being too loud, but they didn’t need to worry. The waiter explained that a couple nearby anonymously donated $300 toward the group’s meal to thank Stranne for his service.

"I got chills; it was just awesome," Stranne says. "An instant sense of gratitude overcame me." He posted the photo on Facebook, hoping to find the generous strangers and thank them, but so far he’s had no luck. “We greatly, greatly appreciate what they did," Stranne says. "At a time like this it gives everyone a new faith in humanity. There's still good out there."

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