On a holiday dedicated to remembering veterans, the firefighters were buying groceries for the station, as they literally live there during a typical 24-hour shift. The list included tri-tip steak, corn, and watermelon, perfect for a holiday barbecue, as KTVU-TV reported. The designated shoppers, dressed in camouflage T-shirts in honor of veterans, had brought the cart to the front of the store to pay when they got a 911 call from station 71, according to the Vacaville Firefighters Association Local 3501 Facebook page.
The crew left the cart at the store and immediately responded. When they returned, the firefighters found that someone had already paid for the groceries. An anonymous note read, "Firefighters: Thanks for being there for us! Have a good weekend," followed by a smiley face and signed an "Air Force wife," according to the image on the Vacaville Firefighters Association Facebook page.
Because the woman paid for the food anonymously, the firefighters don't know who to thank. So they've been paying the generosity forward.
"Later that day ... the crew was at [Lucky Supermarket]," Battalion Chief Jeff Ryder told KOVR-TV. "There was an older couple behind them buying flowers. It appeared to be for Memorial Day. They were red, white, and blue flowers. And the crew took some of that money and paid for the flowers." They also hosted a 91-year-old veteran for dinner at the station on Tuesday.
Before this happened, the department had planned an event for tonight called "Honoring Our Heroes," with half of the restaurant's proceeds going to the Travis Air Force Base's Fisher House, which houses military families for free to be near a hospitalized loved one. The facility operates at an average 100 percent capacity and has hosted more than 3,200 people since it opened in 1994.
"This was special just because it was Memorial Day weekend and it happened to be an Air Force Wife that did this for us," Ryder told KOVR-TV.