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Facebook post honoring fallen soldier creates buzz

May 24, 2012

This picture, posted by Bennigan’s bartender Hannah Hobbs, has gained tremendous popularity on Facebook. The photo is of a beer purchased by a guest in memory of a fallen comrade.

Hannah Hobbs, an employee of Bennigan's in Borger, recently served a guest who ordered a beer for his friend who was a fallen comrade.
The beer was intended to be a memorial to Navy Lt. J.G. Francis Toner IV. The guest left a note with the beer that read “In memory of Lt. J.G. Francis Toner, USN. Killed in action 27 March 2009, Balkh Province, Afghanistan. ‘Non sibi said patriae’ NOT FORGOTTEN!”
Without wanting to empty the beer, Hobbs finally took a photo of the memorial at the end of the night and posted it to her personal Facebook page so the image could live forever. In her post above the photo she stated, “This guy came in and asked if it was ok if he left this on the bar.. I cried :( I left it there until like 11:30 ... I didn’t want to pour it out but I had to. So I’m posting this pic so it can stay forever!! So can I get some likes people??”
To her surprise, the post went viral, attracting 1,071,335 “likes” and was shared more than 96,047 times on the social networking site. Hobbs has received recognition and praise from past and present military service members, as well as from the public. Hobbs also received an award from Bennigan's called a ABCD (Above and Beyond Call of Duty) Award.
According to Nikki Tichansky, brand manager for Bennigan's , her motivation to keep this action strong sparked interest in the national restaurant chain to make awareness and help raise funds for the families of U.S. military personnel and wounded warriors.
Bennigan's Restaurants launched a social media effort on its Facebook page entitled the “Wall of Heroes,” to pay tribute to servicemen and women. Guests at any of Bennigan’s restaurants have the option to buy a beer and leave a note for any member in the U.S. military. Pictures of the beer and note can be posted on the company’s Facebook timeline at www.facebook.com/BennigansFanPage or emailed to facebook@bennigansfc.com.
Bennigan's will give $1 for every photo posted commemorating a soldier, through Memorial Day, to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial and other help to the families of our service members and wounded warriors.
“This will give our guest the privilege to honor people who have touched there lives,” said Tichansky.
The “Wall of Heroes” will run all the way through Memorial Day so go and order a beer and dedicate it to a current or fallen hero in their memory on Memorial Day.

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