Single Mom Waitress Pays Tab For Military Members Affected By Shutdown

A kind Ruby Tuesday waitress recently proved that there is such thing as a free –- and incredibly inspiring –- lunch.

When Sarah Hoidahl, a single mom who works in Concord, N.H., overheard two of her customers say that they were struggling because of the government shutdown, she immediately decided to make their day, WMUR reported. The generous server paid for the National Guard members’ lunch out of her own pocket, which came to $30.

She also left them with this touching note.

“I was just thinking to myself that must be really difficult,” she told the news outlet of how she felt when she learned that the two weren't getting paid. “Just because the income stops, doesn’t mean the bills do.”

While President Obama signed the Pay Our Military Act before the shutdown began to ensure that service members would continue to be compensated, not all members are protected.

The act does not allow for most drill training periods, which has affected nearly 400,000 National Guard members, according to the Department of Defense.

The dire situation is perhaps why thousands of people have found Hoidahl’s gesture so moving.

Both Ruby Tuesday and the New Hampshire National Guard posted a picture of Hoidahl along with her sweet note to their Facebook pages, and her act of kindness quickly went viral from there.

“That is really sweet of you Sarah!” one Facebook commenter wrote on the restaurant’s page. On behalf of an Ex-military (USMC) I want to say thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and kindness!”

Her fans shared similar sentiments on the National Guard’s page, too.

“If the government will not take care of our military, it restores my faith in humanity when someone steps up and does what she can,” another user wrote.

As for what inspired this thoughtful mom to help out her customers, she said the answer was pretty obvious.

“I mean, they protect this country,” she told WMUR. “They protect citizens like me and it was a nice thing to do.”

2013 Government Shutdown