A Kentucky restaurant manager’s tribute to the 13 U.S. service members killed in a terror attack while trying to help evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from Taliban-held Kabul Thursday has touched hearts across the country.
“For the 13 fallen,” Tyler Scott Parker, the manager of the St. Matthews Texas Roadhouse in Louisville, Ky., wrote in a Facebook caption along with an image showing 13 place settings, each with a full pint of Bud Light.
“I really just wanted people to see it and know that as a company, we hear them,” he told Fox News Saturday.
In a separate post, Parker showed the American flag on the restaurant’s rooftop at half-staff, along with a chilling caption.
THESE ARE THE US SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED IN THE KABUL AIRPORT ATTACK
“[Thirteen] doorbells will ring,” it reads. “13 flags will be given. 13 will never come home.”
An ISIS-linked bombing at the Kabul airport on Thursday killed 11 U.S. Marines, one soldier and a Navy medic, according to defense officials, as well as dozens of Afghan civilians. It left more people injured.
Parker, who said both of his grandfathers served in the Korean War and that his stepfather was a Marine during Desert Storm, wanted to honor the slain men and women.
“It kind of hits home for me,” he said. “When your family has served, and they’ve made it back, and then you think these 13 who have fallen and are not going to make it back.”
So as he was thinking of how to pay his respects, he said the Luke Bryan song, “Drink A Beer,” popped into his head.
“So I just was like, let’s go for it, and let’s put beers out on the table,” he said.
The image prompted a strong response. As of Saturday afternoon, it had been shared more than 27,000 times, with thousands of likes.
The Kabul attack marked a tragic turn for the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and prompted a U.S. drone strike that killed ISIS-K targets believed to have been plotting additional attacks against Americans.
It’s been a tumultuous year for Texas Roadhouse, too.
Founder and CEO Kent Taylor announced at the start of the coronavirus pandemic he would forego his own salary in order to keep paying his workers as pandemic shutdowns upended the restaurant industry.
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Then in March of 2021, he took his own life after struggling with post-coronavirus symptoms, including severe tinnitus, the company and family members said in a statement.
Taylor was born at Fort Leonard Wood, in Missouri, where his father was an Army lieutenant, in 1955, according to an obituary in the New York Times.
And had always supported the military, Parker said.
“We do a big Memorial Day, we do the Fallen heroes table…just a little way to give back and show that we care and that we’re here for them,” he said.
Before his death, he pledged funding for a study that aimed to help veterans deal with tinnitus.