Columbus Lions head coach Jason Gibson and Lieutenant Colonel Robert Risdon were on their way back from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, when the lieutenant colonel’s generosity turned into a viral sensation.
The two met on the gridiron, when Risdon tried out for the Dougboy’s at Fort Benning. Following an ACL tear, Risdon became an intern for the Lions and coached the Doughboys. During the trip back from Mobile, Risdon and Gibson deceided to stop at Taco Bell for some food.
Two boys were in the store trying to sell baked goods for their church. Risdon says the boys’ clothes were soaking wet and they looked cold. They asked Risdon if he would buy any of their baked goods. Even though Risdon didn’t have any cash on hand, he offered something else.
“I said, are you guys hungry?” Lt. Col. Risdon asked. “He said, yes sir we are. I asked have you eaten dinner? They said no we haven’t. I looked to the little boy BJ and asked have you eaten yet? And he said, no.”
Risdon then bought the boys 10 tacos and drinks. While eating, the youngest began saluting Risdon. The veteran describes the boy’s show of honor and respect.
“He’s got a burrito in one hand and saluting me with the other hand, and I returned his salute about five times and he kept doing it and doing it,” Risdon explained.
Risdon calls what he did a natural reaction, remembering that he was once in the same situation as the boys. His own kids immediately came to mind. While all of this happened, Coach Gibson was recording the touching moment with his cell phone camera. The video has since taken off on social media. For Risdon, the recognition he’s gotten from the video doesn’t matter.
“A good deed goes a long way for a lot of people, and I think that’s something that I probably never assumed, but now that I’m part of it, obviously it has a lot of positive impacts on some folks and I’m proud of that.”