(Reuters) - A Washington state bartender who fulfilled a woman's request to serve a beer for a brother who died fighting with U.S. forces in Iraq is honoring the man by keeping the bottle on display next to an American flag, in a story that has spread on social media.
The woman ordered a Blue Moon and a Corona at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Tacoma on July 9, telling a bartender the second bottle was for her fallen brother, bartender Brian Avey said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Avey, 37, who is supposed to serve just one beer at a time to each patron, filled the order anyway for the woman, whose name he could not recall.
He wrote in a Facebook post that the beer sat next to her at an empty seat.
"When I brought her bill I told her Buffalo Wild Wings will be buying that beer," he wrote.
His Facebook post, which attracted more than 75,000 "likes" and dozens of heartfelt comments, includes a photograph of the receipt on which the woman had written a message of thanks attributed to her deceased brother.
"Thank you. An Act of kindness goes a long way. It means a lot to me. Have a great rest of your day - [Grateful] soldier", said the hand-written message pinned under the full bottle.
The beer was still on display on Tuesday and the restaurant, which often serves military personnel stationed at nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord, is working out how to preserve it indefinitely, Avey said.
Avey wrote that he didn't have the heart to dump the beer after she left, so he put it on top of the cooler next to the American flag, a move his boss supported.
"He said, 'That's fine, just do me a favor, put a fresh lime in it every morning,'" Avey said.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in San Francisco; Editing by Eric Walsh)