Dan Rankin, WWII Veteran, Has Waiting List to Pay for His Breakfast

By Faye Higbee

Post Falls, Idaho loves its veterans. US Army veteran Dan Rankin eats breakfast every morning at the Dueling Irons Restaurant in Post Falls, Idaho. And for the last at least three or four years, he’s been getting free meals. Why? Because there is a waiting list to pay for his breakfast at the restaurant. People want to pay it forward to thank him for his service.

Every morning between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., Mr. Rankin comes to the restaurant, and every day, his meals are paid for by random customers. They’ve been doing it for at least three years, and there’s actually a list waiting to pay.

He doesn’t see himself as a hero, but as one patron put it, “Every time I go to pay for his meal, someone has already done it.” In an interview by KHQ’s Adam Mayer, Mr Rankin appeared to choke up at the thought of “so many contributors.”

According to KHQ, which posted the original story, Mr. Rankin was a tank driver in General George S. Patton’s army.

“I used to go out and get the pieces of the tanks that the Germans shot up and see if I could put ’em together again.” Dan Rankin

One local community member, Keith Boe, posted this on Facebook:

“I sat down with him yesterday and had a nice chat. He landed on the beaches at Normandy and later fought across Europe with General George Patton liberating concentration camps and he was on top of Berchtesgaden when the Germans surrendered.

He was given a 30 day “vacation” and the day before they were going to ship out to the Pacific Theater, all packed and loaded up to fight over there, they told them the Japanese just surrendered. I bet that was a happy day.

Mr. Rankin was a truck driver until he was 89 years old and stopped driving truck when he broke his hip. You got to be a tough fellow to fight in Patton’s Army.

He recently celebrated his 95 birthday and the restaurant showered him with balloons, birthday cake and cards. He is very much adored by the staff at Dueling Irons in Post Falls.

Please be respectful of his privacy, but show him a little love in a quiet respectful way.” Keith Boe Facebook Post

Keith manages North Idaho Life on Facebook and is active in numerous local activities in his community. He is a realtor in the area.

Patton’s army liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp, the first camp liberated by the US. It was located near Ohrdruf, south of Gotha, in Thuringia, Germany, and was part of the Buchenwald concentration camp network.

The patrons at Dueling Iron Restaurant love to bless this 95 year old veteran. The “Greatest Generation” is leaving us at an alarming rate. The article from KHQ states that by 2020 there will be fewer than 300,000 WWII veterans left. Thank you, Dan Rankin, for your service, and thank you to Dueling Irons Restaurant patrons and staff for your honor of this WWII Army veteran!


Featured photo : Screenshot via KHQ news