By Jocelyn Pedersen
The Norman Transcript
NOBLE — A day for veterans other than Veteran’s Day. That’s what David Bolser, a 100 percent disabled Navy veteran is aiming for. He has teamed up with Tiffany’s Restaurant to sponsor the inaugural David Bolser Veterans Appreciation Breakfast, slated for 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. July 30 at Tiffany’s restaurant, 101 S. Main St., Noble.
Bolser said he wants to do this “for everything the service has done for me, making me a better person than I used to be. I wanted to do something for veterans and I’m more than happy to help them out.”
But that’s not all Bolser does to help veterans. He volunteers at Veteran’s Aid of Oklahoma in Purcell run by Carl Ellison, who says it’s hard to navigate the system. His organization helps veterans file their claims for disability or survivor’s benefits. Ellison said Bolser just wants to “do this breakfast on his own without any help from other organizations. I respect him for it.”
Gary Hicks, co-manager of Tiffany’s, said it’s “a pleasure to know and be associated with such an unselfish individual such as David Bolser. Ten years ago, you rarely heard of people reaching out to the community for reasons without personal or professional gains. He approached me with this idea about three weeks ago and it just blew me away that we still have partners in our society with such large hearts. Normally when I hear of something or I am approached with an idea of someone wanting to help others, it involves an illness. This to me is a random act of kindness and with more people like David, the world would be a better place to live.”
Bolser said he’s doing this to show his gratitude. “I’ve been blessed in my life and I feel like it’s time to give back. I just want to help out the veterans other than on Veteran’s Day,” he said. “I want to do something separate to show my appreciation. I know what it’s like. I’ve bee there and I just want to help out by providing a break from stress in their lives so they can come eat without having to worry.”
Bolser comes from a military heritage with many family members having served, so he understands the importance of honoring veterans. When he received his retroactive disability pay, he said he wanted to share it.
“The idea just came to me. It’s just time for me to do this,” Bolser said, and he holds Donnie and Gary Hicks who manage Tiffany’s in high esteem.
“Gary’s been a good inspiration on this,” Bolser said. “He’s just got a real big heart. He and Donnie have been great. I can’t thank them enough. Whenever someone comes into Tiffany’s with their uniform on, that service member never pays. Not many restaurants still support our troops by not making servicemen pay for their meals. Tiffany’s is one of the few restaurants where they actually converse with all the patrons who come in,” Bolser added. “It’s like ‘Cheers.’ They recognize the people who come. They most definitely bend over backwards to make sure people are happy.
The respect and admiration goes both ways, too, facilitating this collaboration.
“There are no people like that left in the world. Most people have an alternative agenda,” Hicks said of Bolser. “Nobody is willing to open up their wallet to give and get nothing but self satisfaction in return. He just wants to do something nice. We are blessed to know him and will always remember how he will put smiles on strangers’ faces.”
For more information about the breakfast, call Tiffany’s at 405-872-7576. For more information about Veterans Aid of Oklahoma, call 405-823-0910.