Hannibal Long John Silver's Manager Rodney Brumbaugh receives Plaque of Appreciation after throwing surprise birthday party for regular customer and WWII veteran, Courtland Barnard Jr.

Hannibal Long John Silver's manager Rodney Brumbaugh had a feeling that a surprise was ahead when he came out to the restaurant lobby to greet American Legion Post #55 members Friday, Dec. 7.

Brumbaugh surprised weekly customer and WWII veteran Courtland Barnard Jr. with a birthday party in October, and American Legion Post #55 Officer Jess Ornelas said that Brumbaugh regularly provides large discounts and free meals for veterans and active duty servicemen and women.

It was Brumbaugh's turn for a surprise when he received a Plaque of Appreciation from American Legion officers and members for his ongoing support to area veterans.

“He's an asset to the community,” Ornelas said.

Ornelas joined fellow American Legion officials Dick Smith, Tom Yarbrough, Bob Cavanaugh, Bob Sparks, Larry Carey, Bill Haffner and Jerry Weide, who presented the plaque to Brumbaugh amid a round of applause.

As he received exchanged handshakes with his guests, Brumbaugh returned the show of gratitude.

“We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you guys,” he said.

Brumbaugh said the plaque was “like an early Christmas present,” and he made plans to hang it on the wall for everyone to see.

“It's a heck of an honor,” he said. “I don't think that I've ever gotten anything like that before.”