For Bonney Lake resident Corey Wilkins and his wife Gina, it was any other evening out to dinner while their kids were at the high school basketball game.
Last Tuesday, when they walked into Pho Time, Wilkins and his wife saw three Bonney Lake police officers dining together.
He said he made his way to the counter when the officers were about to pay and offered to pay for their meals.
Officers Nathan Vance, Buddy Mahlum and Eric Alfano refused the offer.
But he insisted, Wilkins said.
Wilkins told the Courier Herald in an email that he told the officers, “…you guys have the toughest job in America and have lately taken quite a hit in the press. My wife and I wanted you to know that we are longtime residents, appreciate what you do and despite what CNN and the TwitterCrazies say – we love you guys.”
Wilkins said he returned to his table and continued to enjoy his meal.
On the way out, he said, all three of the officers walked past his table and thanked him for his kind words.
Wilkins said the officers’ responses included “you don’t know how much that means…. It’s great to hear that once in a while…. We really appreciate the gesture.”
A half hour passed after the officers left and Wilkins made his way to the counter to pay.
The owner of Pho Time, told Wilkins the officers had paid his tab.
“I was floored,” he said.
He added, he and his wife were “completely caught off guard.”
Wilkins asked the owner if he could leave a tip but learned the officers had taken care of that as well.
Wilkins expressed in his email to the Courier-Herald that, “police men and women carry the most responsibility of any other job in America, outside the military. So, whenever possible, I like to buy their meals.”
Wilkins’ Facebook post describing the experience has received more than 340 likes, four shares and more than 20 comments in less than a week.
One comment came from Bonney Lake Sgt. Ryan Boyle who told Wilkins he would pass on his ‘thank you’ to the officers.
Word of this evening made its way to Bonney Lake Police Chief Dana Powers who told the Courier Herald that the department is “very grateful for the acts of kindness that citizens here in Bonney Lake have shown us throughout the years.”
She added, “I couldn’t be more proud of the staff that works (at the department).”