North Carolina man buys Chick-fil-A for 11 servicemen in honour of late veteran brother
One family was struck by tragedy this month, but decided to turn their tough times into a chance to do something good for others.
Joshua Zamora, a veteran from the Marines, recently "ended his battle" with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He had been suffering from the disorder after returning from a tour in Afghanistan, and eventually took his own life. A week later, his brothers Jonathan and Stephen were having a meal with their children at a Chick-fil-A, when Jonathan had an idea of how to honour his memory.
After spotting 11 servicemen in the North Carolina location, Jonathan decided to do a good deed, setting an example for their kids and hopefully raising some awareness about PTSD. They asked the men if they could pay their bill, an offer they initially refused, but they changed their minds when Jonathan explained what they were doing.
"It was a way for me to express my gratitude for what they do and help me grieve for my brother," the 34-year-old Jonathan told Yahoo Lifestyle. "And give back to them for what burdens they will now carry for life to help us."
Jonathan's brother Stephen later took to Facebook to share the moment, which took place in a Chick-fil-A, took to Facebook Saturday to share the "proud big brother moment," which unfolded in a Durham location.
"He didn’t even bat an eye and asked everyone in line to allow the 9 to come to the front of the line," Stephen wrote in the now-viral post. He continued:
“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.”
Both brothers have asked others to come forward and show their support for men in the military, Stephen later asked others to follow in their footsteps.
"Do you know what a small gesture like paying for their meal and thanking a serviceman or woman does to their head and heart?" Stephen asked. "You never know what is going on inside. PTSD is not always visible."
Speaking to Fox News, Stephen explained how they are hoping to raise awareness for the condition, improving the level of support and discussion around the topic. "We wanted to use it as a teaching moment for our boys, to show respect and honor for the men and women that fight for this country every day," Stephen said. "Take care of the people that take care of us."
Hopefully, many others follow in their footsteps and help to spread awareness of the serious effects post-traumatic stress disorder can have on people. The family confirmed that they will be celebrating Joshua's life at a memorial service on Tuesday.