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Surly WWII Veteran Leaves Waitress a $50K Tip



Quick Smiles:

  • Melina Salazar, a waitress at Luby’s diner in Texas, served a grumpy WWII veteran named Walter “Buck” Swords for seven years.
  • Despite his constant complaints and difficult demeanor, Melina always served him with a smile and patience.
  • After Walter’s passing, Melina was surprised to learn that he had left her his car and $50,000 in cash, a testament to the impact of her kindness.

Walter “Buck” Swords, an 89-year-old WWII veteran, was a regular at Luby’s diner in Brownsville, Texas for seven years. Known for his grumpy demeanor, Walter was notorious for his constant complaints, making him a less than desired customer among the waitstaff.

However, one waitress, Melina Salazar, was always willing to serve him. Despite his difficult nature, Melina always met his complaints with a smile, ensuring the quality of her service never wavered.

She recalls, “He was mean to the girls. He wanted everything his way. He wanted the food very hot – he didn’t care, he burned himself!”

Yet, Melina remained patient and took care of him.

One day in the summer of 2007, Melina noticed Walter’s absence. She later found his obituary in the local paper. A few months later, just before Christmas, a lawyer walked into Luby’s during her shift, bearing unexpected news.

The lawyer revealed that Walter had deeply appreciated Melina’s kindness and smiles. So much so, that he had left her his 2000 Buick and $50,000 in cash! Walter’s gruff exterior had hidden a grateful heart that recognized Melina’s unwavering kindness.

Melina’s story is a beautiful reminder to treat everyone with kindness and respect, regardless of their response. Sometimes, the reward for such kindness is more than one could ever anticipate.


To hear more about this uplifting story, check out the video below and share to spread some joy!