DC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen

DC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen
© Greg Nash

Washington, D.C., residents covered the meals of six National Guardsmen who were eating at St. Anselm restaurant on Friday. 

“There were multiple people who paid as well as offered to pay,” a server who identified herself as Bella who was taking care of the guardsmen, told The Hill. There were three separate instances where people wanted to pay for their meals. 

The first group was a family who told their server they would pay for the guardsmen’s first round of drinks. “The server let the guardsmen know that that happened and they were very thankful for that,” Bella said.  

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In another instance, a man who wasn’t eating at the restaurant offered to pay for the full meal. “I believe he had come from the gym across the street from us. He approached me and he said he wanted to pay for their entire meal,” Bella said. 

The man handed Bella the credit card for her to run and then he left without speaking to the guardsmen. The guardsmen were sitting outside in the restaurant’s heated pods they used for outdoor dining, as indoor dining is prohibited in D.C. due to the pandemic. 

Another guest offered to pay for the full meal at the end, but it was already covered. A Twitter user posted about trying to pay for the group's meal, however it is unclear if this user is the same guest the server referred to. 

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“People are just wanting to be as generous as they can be within their power,” Bella said. “It was a real feel-good thing to see.”

Many have reached out with kind gestures towards the National Guard during their deployment to D.C. to protect the nation's capital around President Joe BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE’s inauguration. 

On other occasions, lawmakers also extended a helping hand to the National Guard. 

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) offered guardsmen free pizza and to stay in his office after some guardsmen were forced to sleep in a parking garage overnight.

The National Guard were moved to a nearby parking garage outside the Capitol building after they were ordered to vacate the premises. However, images emerged of officers sleeping in the garage, prompting outrage from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Bush criticize lack of diversity among negotiators on latest infrastructure deal Fetterman slams Sinema over infrastructure: 'Democrats need to vote like Democrats' House passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay MORE (D-N.Y.) also offered for the guardsmen to stay in her office and provide snacks for them.

First Lady Jill BidenJill BidenJill Biden's chief of staff picked for US ambassador to Spain Anita Dunn to return to consulting firm she founded US athletes chant 'Dr. Biden' as first lady cheers swimmers MORE passed out cookies as a thank you for the job the National Guard did protecting the inauguration.

The National Guard is beginning to leave D.C. after a week-long stay during inauguration week.

The National Guard was deployed after the Capitol riots that occurred on Jan. 6, when a mob of former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE's supporters breached the Capitol building's security, broke windows, vandalized offices and forced Congress to evacuate to undisclosed locations. 

Following the incident, Washington was on high alert with Biden slated to be publicly sworn in on Jan. 20.