Restaurant covers dinner for airman and family after surprise homecoming

Posted at 9:48 PM, Apr 20, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A happy homecoming was caught on camera for one United States airman and his mother.

Bradley Baker surprised his mother, Dana Tosh, while she was working at the Real Food Cafe on Plainfield Avenue on Saturday. Tosh was so excited, she messed up a customer's order. When the man saw what had happened, he still tipped her $100 to take the family out to dinner.

Dana Tosh posted on Facebook asking where she should take her family out to dinner before eventually deciding on Amoré on Alpine Avenue. After that, owner and head chef Jenna Arcidiacono says she got a ton of calls from people offering to donate towards the dinner. On Thursday night, the family's meal was completely on the house.

"People started calling me and donating money to pay for it," said Arcidiacono. "Whatever they don't cover, I'm going to cover. It's going to be totally paid for, which is awesome. It's kind of a fun pay it forward story."

The family enjoyed their dinner and ended it with a dessert tray before Arcidiacono broke the news to the family that their meal would be free.

Bradley Baker has been stationed overseas in Rammstein, Germany, for more than a year and a half and has spent the last seven months in Qatar. Baker says he spent the last three months planning the big surprise for his mom.

"Those are the reactions I look forward to," said Baker. "It's what makes all those hard days worth it, moments like that."

Those moments caused Tosh to mess up a customer's order. "I put green peppers in his omelet when he didn't want them," said Tosh. "I was very apologetic, and he had a great sense of humor about it. At the end, he gave me a hug and slipped something in my hand, and told me to take my son out for a nice dinner. It was $100. I wish I could thank him. I'm hoping he sees this."

"It's the most humbling feeling I can't even put into words," said Baker of all the attention. "This is a job I signed up for. This is a job I do every day. It was my choice. I don't feel I need any special recognition from it; it's not what I did it for. I did it for my family back home and everybody else. I love my country. That's what I do it for. I don't expect any special recognition, but the support we receive is what keeps us going."

Baker is only home for ten more days before he heads back to Germany. He will be home again in July for a wedding, then will head back to Germany for quite a while, he says.