Runners' Spontaneous Mid-Race Tribute to Veteran Goes Viral (VIDEO)

Rebecca Stokes Awww!

vet thanked by runnersHold on, there's something in my eye. This story will have that effect on you too, so get the tissues and sobbing-cushions ready. This 95-year-old World War II veteran recently got the surprise of a lifetime. When the vet, Joe Bell, learned that a local road race would be reaching its conclusion near his home in California, he parked himself outside as a spectator to cheer on the runners in the home stretch -- he even donned his full uniform to do it! 

Waving spryly as the runners darted past, he was happy just to be there cheering them on as they completed their run. But then something totally unexpected happened to Bell. All of the runners began making a beeline in his direction! But don't worry, they didn't do him any harm.

In fact, the runners were heading Joe's way to shake his hand and thank him for his service! What began with just one runner, shaking Joe's hand and thanking him in passing, started a veritable tidal wave of support that was truly moving to witness. We can only imagine how Joe felt. Though admittedly, the grin that covered his face probably revealed just a little bit of how proud he must have felt to be honored by the runners.

He spoke to a reporter saying: "They showed me a lot of love, and they recognized me. I liked that!" We bet he had no idea that when he headed out to his front yard that day, he'd be commended for his service decades earlier. How touching that the runners took time out of their day to thank Joe -- we think their times should be updated accordingly for their decency!

How do you support our troops?


Image via XoniMedia/YouTube

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