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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 BidenTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants 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-CortezProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J vax rollout today; third woman accuses Cuomo MORE (D-N.Y.) also offered for the guardsmen to stay in her office and provide snacks for them.

First Lady Jill BidenJill BidenOvernight Health Care: Biden slams Texas, Mississippi for lifting coronavirus restrictions: 'Neanderthal thinking' | Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra |Over 200K sign up for ACA plans during Biden special enrollment period Education secretary: Vaccinating teachers 'my top priority' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls 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 TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' 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.