View Full Version : Official Good Samaritan to our Troops Thread

08-27-2005, 09:17 AM
I just cannot get enough of these stories. I tear up something wonderfully awful when I read them.


eat at Canlis (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/iraq/2002452810_canlis26m.html)

Diners have sweet surprise for soldier, girlfriend

By Susan Gilmore
Seattle Times staff reporter

When Chris Yanez wanted to take his girlfriend out for a special dinner to celebrate their one-year anniversary, he chose the venerable restaurant Canlis, perched high above Lake Union.

Yanez, a soldier returning from Iraq, knew the dinner would be pricey. What he didn't expect is that it would be free. And he also didn't expect that when he walked out, the place would be in tears.

Before going to dinner Wednesday night, Yanez, a reservist who spent a year in Iraq as a machine-gunner, put on his green dress Army uniform, the one he was proud to wear. With his girlfriend, Liz Coleman, on his arm, he walked into Canlis, where owner Mark Canlis found the couple a special table with a panoramic view of the lake and the city.

"I was a captain in the Air Force, so I have a soft spot there," Canlis said.

A few minutes later, a man at a nearby table who wanted to remain anonymous walked up to the restaurant owner. "I was noticing the young soldier and saw them looking at the menu," he told Canlis. "I know he was looking at prices and I know this is a special thing, so I would like to take care of part of their bill."

Then another family, the Greenbergs, said they, too, wanted to help pay for the meal. By the end of the night several patrons had, unknown to Yanez, offered to pay for the young couple's meal. With Canlis also sharing the costs, the $150 bill evaporated.

Yanez and Coleman were sharing a peach-cobbler dessert when Canlis walked up with a piece of molten chocolate lava cake.

"There's folks in this restaurant who don't think you should have to share a dessert," Canlis told the couple. "And they don't think you should pay the bill."

Coleman burst into in tears. Tana Greenberg, whose family helped pay the bill, said she, like several other patrons, was wiping her eyes.

"This brought out the patriotism in all of us," she said. "It was just the right thing to do. We're sending our kids over there and they're dying to uphold our beliefs. We just said this couple should not have to buy their meals. It was showing our belief in the uniform and what it stands for."

Yanez, 20, a student from Renton, said he was stunned by the gesture.

"I knew Canlis was expensive, but this is a one-of-a-kind restaurant and this was a special occasion," he said. "It was the greatest thing ever. It makes me feel like people appreciate the troops and they care about people in the community. I was in shock and my girlfriend started to cry. It was really emotional."

Canlis said his grandfather, who spent 39 years in the Marines, once told him that he should never let a soldier in uniform into his restaurant without being taken care of.

He said it's not the first time in recent months that returning troops have been honored at Canlis. Several months ago a man came in with his wife to treat her to a special dinner to make up for the two years he had spent in Iraq. The entire Canlis crew decided to pay the bill.

"That's what makes it fun for us," Canlis said, "being able to take care of people in a special way."

08-27-2005, 09:19 AM
powerline (http://powerlineblog.com/archives/011476.php)

In July 2004, John and I, with our wives, took Curt and Sheila out to dinner as a thank-you for Curt's service and his family's sacrifice. (It is noteworthy that Curt's younger daughter was only nineteen months old when he left for fourteen months in Afghanistan.) At our invitation, Curt also invited his friend Captain Martin Naranjo and his wife Maria, who turned out to be a native of Bulgaria. We arranged the dinner at Manny's, one of the country's great independent steak houses, and one of Mrs. Trunk's favorite spots.

The first indication that we were in for a treat came when we called the restaurant to verify the time of our reservation, and the man who answered the phone said, "Oh, that's the group with the returning servicemen." So the restaurant was ready for us.

The dinner was delightful. Martin, like Curt, is an engineer. He had just returned from a year in Iraq, where he headed a group of engineers who worked with the 101st Airborne in Mosul. Coincidentally, we found that the Naranjos are neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Rocket, living only a couple of miles away in the same suburb.

Both Curt and Martin had fascinating stories to tell about their time overseas. Curt's experience with prisons in Afghanistan was interesting in light of the controversy over prisons in Iraq. Not surprisingly, to us at least, Curt reported that the average Afghan detainee eats better in our custody than ever before in his life, with the result that they typically gain twenty or thirty pounds. Martin's engineering group was an important part of General Petraeus's creative effort to build ties to the people of Mosul; he told a funny story about supervising the effort to get Mosul's swimming pools operational again.

The food was great and, to say the least, plentiful. But what was really touching was the sincere appreciation that Manny's showed for the returning servicemen. The restaurant comped us with two superb bottles of champagne and a splendid seafood plate that led off the dinner for all eight of us. Restaurant manager Randy Stanley came to our table and led a toast; our waiter took pictures of us on our way out of the restaurant. So if you're in Minneapolis, eat at Manny's.

Equally heart-warming was the reaction of the diners who were seated around us. Our group was a bit boisterous at times, and a foursome seated next to us got wind of the nature of our celebration. They stood up and toasted Curt and Martin, whereupon the neighboring tables broke into a spontaneous round of applause.

The photo below shows, from left to right, Captain Martin Naranjo, Maria Naranjo, Sheila Decker, and Major Curt Decker. It's a pleasure to know them and an honor to be able to express our appreciation for their service.


08-27-2005, 06:20 PM
Thanks for sharing that dude.