Serving with a Shovel

Sam, 19 years old, was working at Ace Hardware in Mississippi when Milton, an elderly veteran came into the store. Milton wanted to buy a shovel and explained that he had to bury his dog of 15 years. He’d also been recently diagnosed with cancer. Sam was touched and offered to come to Milton’s house after work to help him bury his companion. Sam recalls, “His eyes opened wide. It was amazing. He said, ‘I can’t let you do that. Are you sure?’ I said, ‘I’m positive. As soon as I’m off work, I’ll head right over’."

Sam did as he promised and helped Milton bury his beloved dog. "Something he said stuck with me," Sam said. "He told me that great things come to you at unexpected times and we both smiled. Definitely something we will both remember. He asked me if there was anyway he could repay me and I told him 'yeah, by taking a picture with me’ because I know that picture is something I will cherish forever.”


Kelly Otteson