A Soldier Spots Two Hungry & Cold Kids At Taco Bell Trying To Raise Money For Their Church & His Act Of Compassion Is Caught On Camera

The boys were trying to raise money for their church, but what they received meant a lot more than that.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Risdon taco bell Jason Gibson via YouTube / Lt. Col. Robert Risdon via WTVM

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Risdon stepped into a local Taco Bell in Greenville, Alabama, prepared to buy himself and his friend a meal when two young boys approached them inside.

The boys, 9 and 13 years old, were doing a little bit of hustling in order to raise money for their church, but Risdon and his friend, Jason Gibson, didn’t have any cash on hand. Risdon decided that he would do the next best thing instead.


The soldier bought Taco Bell for the hungry kids and was recorded while performing the good deed.

The video was posted to YouTube by Gibson — the man that Risdon was with — and showed the soldier at the counter with the two young boys trying to order their meals. The video was a viral sensation in 2016, receiving nearly 3 million views. Risdon told the story of what happened to TODAY.com.

“As head coach of the Columbus Lions, Fort Benning's football team in Columbus, Georgia,” TODAY.com reported in 2016, “Risdon and his co-coach Jason Gibson went to Mobile, Alabama, to observe players practicing for the Senior Bowl on Saturday.”


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On their way back to Columbus, they stopped at a Taco Bell to escape the storm outside, prepared to grab a bite to eat. That’s when the two brothers stopped by their table and asked if they would like to buy some homemade baked goods to support their church.

Risdon instead asked if they would like something to eat, and their faces lit up.


“They looked like they hadn't eaten a meal in weeks and had been out in the rain selling their stuff for a while,” Risdon said. “I can't even count the number of times I was cold, wet, and hungry in the Army. To sit in warmth and eat some tacos is a big victory for them.”

The video shows Risdon walking with the young teen and “BJ,” his younger brother, to the counter in preparation to order whatever they wanted. BJ was energetic and excited, walking around the restaurant and posing for the camera Gibson was holding, as his older brother relayed what their meals would be.

Risdon and Gibson were both floored by how respectful the two young boys were.

"Everything was 'yes sir, no sir,'" Gibson said. "Whoever is raising them is doing a great job." He also added that they’d never seen anyone eat a meal so fast. “They both ate their first taco in under a minute.”

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BJ recognized the military uniform that Risdon had been wearing, and told him how much he looked up to him and wanted to be just like him when he grows up. BJ thanked him for his service and would repeatedly offer up a salute.

“He was saluting me with his left hand while holding a taco in his right, which is the proper hand to use,” Risdon said. “So I made him put down the taco and taught him the proper way to salute, which will come in handy if he actually grows up to be a soldier.”

Soon after they were all finished eating, the boys put Risdon on the phone with their grandfather in order to prove that they hadn’t spent the money they raised for their church on their meals.

Risdon claims that he had been thinking about his kids the whole time. “My kids were running through my mind the whole time,” Risdon said. “The thought of my kids in their situation broke my heart, so it made me react and want to help the boys out, and the least I could do was buy them some tacos.”


Hoping that his good deed would spark another, Risdon told the kids to pay it forward, and they promised they would.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.