Touching photos of young waiter chatting with 91-year-old WW II veteran eating alone is warming the hearts of the Internet
A young Pennsylvania man has become the talk of the internet after he was snapped making conversation with an elderly man who had come to the restaurant all by himself.
In a Facebook post that has now gone viral and boasts of over 72,000 shares and 245,000 likes, Lisa Meilander shared photos of Belle Vernon Eat'n Park employee Dylan Tetil, 24, taking time out of his shift to speak with a 91-year-old World War II veteran this past Saturday, August 17.
Meilander, a preschool teacher who was at the restaurant with her family, said she did not notice the elderly gentleman come in but was moved after she saw Tetil "dropped to one knee to look him eye-to-eye as he got ready to take his order."
She said the man apologized for not hearing too well and said he had "forgotten to put in his hearing aids." She said he then explained to the 24-year-old how he lost his hearing during his time in the war.
"He was 91 years old with many stories to tell," she wrote in her post. "Dylan patiently listened giving him his full attention."
Meilander said the man then apologized once again for talking too much and told Tetil that he was "alone now and don't have someone to talk to."
Tetil just smiled and told him he enjoyed listening, she said, before then helping him figure out what to order and leaving to take it to the kitchen.
After serving the veteran his food, Tetil came back and told him he was on a break and asked him if he could sit on the table with him, she said.
Meilander revealed that she was not the only one eavesdropping on the pair's conversation either. She said she waved down Tetil to offer to pay for the veteran's food but was informed that another man at a nearby booth had already taken care of it.
"As we left the restaurant the two of them were conversing and many people seated nearby were smiling. It was a touching sight," she wrote.
She also gave a shoutout to Tetil. "With all of the negative stories about our youth today this was a breath of fresh air. I wonder if I would have been as kind and attentive if I were the one working there. One thing's for sure, if you are ever at Eat'n Park in Belle Vernon, ask for Dylan. If he's your waiter you're certain to get great service."
Dylan, a radiology student at Westmoreland County Community College, had been working at the restaurant for three months and told TribLive that he had never seen the man before.
"I could tell as soon as I went up to him that he was eager to talk," he said. "I brought him out his water, and he was like, 'Please come back.' I said, 'You know I will.'"
Dylan revealed that the veteran spoke to him about his life and told him stories from his World War II days. "It was just two human beings talking," he said.
Kevin O'Connell, the spokesperson for Eat'n Park, said that they hope the 91-year-old returns in the future. "We call ourselves 'The Place for Smiles' and train our employees to look for opportunities to serve," he explained. "Dylan obviously really embraced that goal."