Vietnam vet Charles “Bud” Phillips was grabbing supplies at a Publix supermarket in Land O' Lakes, Florida, when the surprise occurred.
After the selfie was posted by a relative on Reddit, Charles’ daughter, Stefanie Phillips, filled ET in on how it all unfolded.
“My dad was behind him in the checkout line. They were chatting and John thanked my dad for his service [after] seeing his SeaBees hat,” she shared. “John secretly paid for all of his groceries. My dad didn’t even know until he was being checked out and the cashier said, ‘John paid for your groceries.’ The bill was around $100.”
Stefanie went on to explain how special the moment was for her father.
“My dad is a retired Vietnam veteran [and] a widow. We lost my mom five years ago unexpectedly [after] they were married almost 50 years. So, as you can imagine, not too much these days make him smile as big as he did in that picture,” she shared. “That’s what so special about this moment. A simple act of kindness brightened his day. Along with his family seeing that smile on his face!”
“He’s a stay-home, cook-from-scratch kind of guy. He loves to cook,” she added. “So, going to the grocery store to gather ingredients is his get-outta-the-house event these days.”
Stefanie added that John is often spotted at the store, and is always the “kindest man to everyone.”
And, if shopping and selfies with the 42-year-old actor and wrestler wasn’t enough to make Charles’ day, it gets better!
Stefanie says that after the selfie was posted on Reddit, users began reaching out to say their own fathers or grandfathers had served in the same unit as Charles.
The former comrades have since reconnected and exchanged photos.