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For veterans, there is such thing as a free meal

Jim Miller, a Hendersonville grading contractor, helps a World War II veteran board a bus during an HonorAir trip in September 2013. Jim Miller, a Hendersonville grading contractor, helps a World War II veteran board a bus during an HonorAir trip in September 2013.

Jim Miller has always been prone to buying meals for service men and women.


One time he told a bartender at a Chili's at the airport in Dallas he wanted to pick up the tab for a table of veterans. The bartender said OK. Then another table arrived, and then another. Yep, them too, Miller said.
"I like buying veterans breakfast," he said.
Now, he's turning his spur-of-the-moment generosity into a monthly event.
Starting Feb. 20, he plans to buy breakfast at the Dixie Diner in Laurel Park for any current service member or veteran.
"This is for 18 to 108," he said. "Anyone that is wearing or has worn a uniform, man or woman, we just want to give them a free breakfast."
Although he did not serve himself, Miller has always had a soft spot for veterans. An early supporter of the HonorAir program to fly veterans to see the National World War II Memorial, Miller, 46, had three uncles who served in World War II.
"It's the main reason you and I can sleep at night, is all these veterans that have worn the uniform," he said. "The closest I ever came to hand-to-hand combat was at the end of my grandmother's hickory stick."
When Miller contacted HonorAir founder Jeff Miller (no relation), Jeff told him, "Let's run it through HonorAir so if anyone wants to give money (as a tax deductible donation), they can."
The free breakfast will be served 8-10 a.m. on the third Thursday. The Dixie Diner serves a buffet breakfast that includes eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, biscuits and other traditional breakfast dishes. Miller said he's talking to the restaurant about adding fresh fruit and other heart-healthy options that older veterans might need.

To donate send checks to HonorAir, 423 North King Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792.