The Crispy Warriors, a group of local veterans that meet every Thursday morning at Crackings in Destin to enjoy eggs, toast and "crispy" bacon, gave the staff each $100 at Christmas.
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DESTIN — Every year they give back at Christmas time, but Thursday morning they came bearing gifts out of season.
The Crispy Warriors, a group of local veterans that meet every Thursday morning at Crackings in Destin to enjoy eggs, toast and "crispy" bacon, gave the staff each $100 at Christmas. However, on Thursday Ronald "Westy" Westenbarger of the Warriors stopped by to give back, again.
With the threat of coronavirus in Okaloosa County, management at Crackings decided to close the doors earlier this week after not even breaking even last weekend trying to do takeout, said General Manager Preston Green.
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But the gift the Warriors came bearing was a huge surprise to Green and others, and right on time.
"He brought in this wad of money," Green said.
The Crispy Warriors, who have been eating every Thursday at the restaurant for the past seven years, dropped off $3,700 in cash to be split among the workers at Crackings who are out of work until further notice.
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So when workers stopped by Thursday to pick up their last paychecks for awhile, they got a $180 bonus from the Crispy Warriors.
"They collected it among themselves," said Green, who was elated at their generosity. "The employees had no idea.
"Some got choked up ... some just couldn’t believe it," he said.
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"These men have given everything to this country and they still choose to give all they can to help," said Rachel Davis a longtime server at Crackings. "I personally have been blessed by their kindness over the six years I have served them. From a wedding shower to two different baby showers, the Crispy Warriors have supported me and my family.
"Now in this time of uncertainty they have banded together to help ease our worries and show support. It’s a true honor to know these selfless men," she added.
Although Crackings is closed for now, Green said nobody on staff has lost their jobs.
"As soon as we get a green light ... we are full force ahead," Green said.