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Acts of kindness: In memory of a fallen hero page 2
Tom Sileo's op-ed column on The Unknown Soldiers: Acts of kindness.

 Amy Looney and her husband, Brendan.
Courtesy of Amy Looney
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Date published: 10/4/2012


Upon checking out, I gave the stylist a large tip before handing her a memorial card similar to the one Amy was distributing in San Diego. She paused and looked at Brendan's picture.

"This gives me chills," she said.

Next, I drove to a military recruiting station. Since Brendan was a SEAL, I visited the Navy first, and told a female sailor that I wanted to bring lunch to her office. Unfortunately, she had already eaten, but after thanking me for the offer, emphasized how much acts of kindness mean to those serving in uniform.

"A woman came up to me in a parking lot the other day and hugged me," the sailor said. "Those little things make a big difference."

Luckily, the Marines hadn't eaten, and allowed me to bring them a large order of buffalo wings. After I handed lunch and Brendan's memorial card to the sergeant in charge, the Marine asked me to deliver a message to the Looney family.

"We may not have known this young man," he said. "But he was our brother."

While ordering lunch for the Marines, I asked the manager of the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant if I could leave a pint of Guinness for Brendan. He promptly placed the full glass at the center of the bar, along with the memorial card, which included Amy's request for acts of kindness.

When I returned eight hours later, Brendan's beer was sitting beneath two American flags bought by the manager. The bartender said countless patrons had taken pictures of the noteworthy Guinness, resulting in many acts of kindness being performed right there in the restaurant. One patron, for example, bought ice cream for every child in the establishment at dinnertime.

"I had a tough week," the bartender said. "But things like this remind you there are still good people in the world."

I didn't know Lt. Brendan Looney but can write with certainty that he was a devoted husband, son, brother, friend, and warrior. The small acts I performed show just how easily each of us can join together in answering Amy's call for kindness.

Amy Looney's heart will always ache for her husband, his parents, his siblings, and the families of every fallen warrior. But one thing she won't do is quit.

"Hopefully, I will honor him by carrying on his thoughtful mission," Amy wrote. "I love you, Brendan."

America loves you, Amy.

Tom Sileo is a columnist for Creators Syndicate.

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