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Hug a soldier for Mothers Day - The Galveston County Daily News : News

October 1, 2014

Hug a soldier for Mothers Day

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Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014 11:27 pm | Updated: 10:09 am, Sun May 11, 2014.

TEXAS CITY -- It was supposed to be a quick stop for gas and a breakfast sandwich at the new Buc-ee's Saturday morning. 

While filling up I noticed about a dozen folks in fatigues walking into the store. 

As I waited in line for my breakfast order I chatted up a sergeant. 

"I have to ask, you guys invading Buc-ee's today," I joked. 

The sergeant laughed. Said no, the crew was headed to Galveston for weapons certification. 

"We stopped in here to use the bathrooms and get some food," he said. 

He told me about a dozen were part of the Army reservists who were headed to the island for the day. 

I wanted to show my appreciation for the reservists for taking time out of their weekend so I offered to buy everyone breakfast. The sergeant turned me over to his lieutenant. 

I thanks Lt. Lupe Leyva for his service and handed him about $60. 

"You don't have to do that sir," Leyva said. 

"Yeah, I know, but you guys don't need to be doing what you do either," I responded. 

He thanked me and that may have been the end of it. 

It wasn't. 

As I was set to walk out I spotted a woman on a red T-shirt and a red hat hugging every soldier that walked by her. She was in tears. 

I stood there and she noticed me and walked over. I asked her if she was alright. 

"Oh yes," T.J. Folk of Santa Fe said. "Whenever I see a soldier I always give (him or her) a hug. It is Mothers Day weekend and here they are doing something for all of us and they aren't with their families. 

"Some are mothers and I am sure all of them won't spend Mothers Day with their mothers. I just wanted to hug them all and say thank you." 

I walled Folk over to Lt. Leyva, who she quickly gave a big hug, and let her tell him of her routine. 

Folk had her boys Tyler, 15, and Trey, 11, with her. The family was headed to Trey's baseball game but made a quick stop at Buc-ee's. 

"If I had seen all the soldiers before they left, none of them would have spent a dime in here," Folk said. 

"My husband thinks I'm silly for hugging soldiers all the time. But I don't care. I love them all for what they do for us."

Leyva had a big smile on his face. Told a story of a woman who lives at Fort Hood and who for each time a unit deploys shows up and gives each and every soldier a hug. 

"I want my boys to see this and have an appreciation for what our military does for us," Folk said. 

She cried some more. 

I asked Folk what she would like for Mothers Day. 

"I want everyone to hug a soldier," she said.