Local Waffle House gives back to retired veteran

Local Waffle House gives back to retired veteran

Martinez, Ga (WJBF) - - It's the season of giving and receiving and for one local vet, he experienced both first hand. 

Every morning, Ken Griffith goes to a local Waffle House for breakfast. 

Little did he know he was soon in for more than just a hearty meal.

For retired veteran Ken Griffith, this has been his same routine for nearly 2 years.  Get dressed and head to this Waffle House in Evans.

"About every day of the week, even on weekends. Get here about 8 or 9 o'clock, get my breakfast or my sandwich and a cup of coffee. Read my newspaper and then move on to the American Legion," said Ken Griffith, Waffle House regular. 

It's a routine that Joe Dowell, the store's manager, says he and his staff look forward to every morning.

"He really falls into a small group of customers we have. They're in here everyday. We really try to have a family atmosphere here," said Joe Dowell, Waffle House Manager.

Family is how Griffith sees the staff as well. So on Christmas Eve, he did what most family members do this time of year.

"I brought in all the girls a gift for Christmas and the next thing I know I come in and they hand me that birthday card with money in it!" said Griffith.

"They came together and they put their hard earned money together to repay him, to come and see us every morning, making our morning," said Dowell.

This picture captures it all. 

"When he opened it up, I seriously wanted to cry because there was just like a stack of one dollar bills and I knew it was their tip money. It was just amazing that they did something like that right after Christmas," said Gina Speegle, Ken's daughter: 

When Ken's daughter, Gina, heard what happened she posted it on Facebook and it quickly went viral. 

"It was actually brought to me first from another Waffle House and then the next morning I saw it blowing up.  I didn't expect it to go that big. Normally the good things don't blow up as good as the bad things do. And we're really grateful that we're able to experience this here," said Dowell.

Griffith says he never expected the simple act of kindness to grow into something so much bigger. But he's grateful for those who did it and hopes others gain something from it as well. 

"Pass it on, pass it on. Take care of everybody else," said Griffith.

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