Mystery Man Pays It Forward To NWA Veteran On Veterans Day

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS(KFSM) — A local veteran wants to find out the name of a man he said picked up the tab on a several-hundred-dollar purchase on veteran's day.

“I never expected for this to happen at all, but it did, and I thank the guy very much. I wish I knew his name,” Edward Lee Nickels told 5NEWS.

On Veterans Day, the 86-year-old Korean War veteran, who still works, was shopping for a new wood-burning stove when a stranger paid it forward and footed the bill.

“I choked up. I shook his hand, and I couldn't hardly talk; big tears came into my eyes thinking about it. But anyway, I never met another person as nice as he was,” Nickels said.

Nickels was at the Tractor Supply Co. in Springdale on Sunday (Nov. 11) when the mystery man paid for the wood-burning stove and the equipment to install it. It cost more than $400.

“He didn't know that I was probably scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with the money to pay for it. I didn't even mention that to him, because I was going to pay for it,” he said.

Nickels said the man first came up to him in the store to shake his hand and thank him for his service.

He didn't see him again until he was at the register counting out the $409 and some change to give the cashier.

“He walked up there and had his card, stuck it in there and paid for everything I got and said 'that's for you.' He said, 'Thank you for your service,'” Nickels says.

Nickels told 5NEWS he's had someone pay for his hamburger but never something this big, and for that he's grateful.

He is appreciative that he will now have that extra money to use for other things he and his wife need.