Companionship is crucial to our well-being, but sometimes we don’t know how to get it. As someone with a disability and no car, Lyndon Dale Flowers understands the loneliness that occurs when we can’t connect with others.
The 20-year Navy veteran of Lewiston, Maine is retired and lives alone. As Veterans Day approached, he wanted to do something special, but none of his friends or acquaintances were available to take him to dinner. So Dale came up with a unique solution!
After getting a haircut at Judy & Heather’s Barber Shop, he scribbled a note on a piece of paper and hung it on the business’ bulletin board.
“Would someone like to take a local disabled veteran to dinner on Veterans Day?” he wrote. “No car. My treat.”
Dale hoped someone would respond, but one of the shop’s owners did him one better! Heather Jeselskis Swift uploaded a picture of his message to her Facebook page. “Would someone with a car take him up on his offer?” she wrote. “I would love to flood his phone with caring phone calls from us all.”
Within minutes, the post took off, and offers, requests, and general words of kindness started pouring in! People from Florida, California, Virginia, and beyond wanted to show him their appreciation and see what they could do to make his day better.
Sandy Washer was one of them! She called Dale and arranged to drive 40 minutes from her home in Norway, Maine to take him to lunch. She said she has a special fondness for veterans because her father was an Army vet!
“Apparently it went kinda viral, you know?” Dale said, laughing. “I didn’t mean to make a big uproar or a mess out of it. I just wanted to go to dinner.”
But in all seriousness, he said the outpouring of support means the world to him because it’s easy for him to feel isolated. Best of all, the popularity of his note gives him hope that he’ll connect with more people in the future. “I’ve already got eyes on Thanksgiving and Christmas for dinner!” he said.
It’s so important to ask for what we need! If Dale hadn’t reached out, he never would have known how much he is appreciated. So to all the veterans, thank you for your service! And to everyone, remember to give others the chance to show you kindness. You never know who might give you a call!
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