Tacoma bartender permanently sets aside single beer for fallen soldier, photo goes viral on Facebook

TACOMA -- A bartender at a Tacoma restaurant decided to permanently set aside an open bottle of beer with a lime slice on top for a fallen U.S. soldier. It's the story behind this act that has touched people's hearts.

A photo of a Corona and a receipt with a thank you written on it has been shared nearly 100,000 times on Facebook, here and around the world.

"A lady came in, she ordered two beverages," explained Brian Avey, a bartender at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Tacoma. "And I said we can only do one due to liquor laws and stuff, and she explained to me that the Corona was for her brother who had fallen in Iraq.

"So she sat here with the Corona, had her lunch with the Corona sitting there," he said.

When it came time to close out the tab, Avey told her the Corona was on the house.

He later found that the mystery woman had left behind this note on the receipt: "Thank you. An act of kindness goes a long way. It means a lot to me." And she signed it, "Grateful soldiers."

"I just couldn't dump out a fallen soldier's beer," Avey said. "If someone else could do it, fine. But I wasn't going to be the one."

So Avey made a decision.

"If he can give his life for our country, we can give that beer a permanent place at the Buffalo."

With his manager's permission, he placed the Corona next to an American flag on display at the bar.

The manager "said 'it's fine, leave it there. Just put a fresh lime in it every morning.'"

Avey took a photo of the beer and the woman's note and posted it on Facebook.

"Couple hours into the night, it was at a hundred thousand likes. I was like whoa, crazy!" Avey said.

And phone calls began coming into the restaurant to say thank you.

So there the beer sits...

"That beer is staying there, we're not getting rid of that beer," Avey said. "That beer is for a fallen soldier who protected our country."

Speaking of the mystery woman, the bartender added, "Think about someone else's pain, might be a little more than what you're dealing with at the time. And I don't even know how much pain she was in. It just felt like the right thing to do."

People at the restaurant are hoping the woman will come forward so they can thank her for her brother's service.