CLAY COUNTY, FL (WJXT /CNN) - A woman got a pleasant surprise Wednesday when she picked up a homecoming cake for her husband who was deployed overseas.
Alicia Jones went to Publix on the way to pick up her husband at the airport.
He was home from deployment in Bahrain for two weeks, and this was his first time seeing his daughter.
So Jones got him a red velvet cake to say welcome home.
"When I went back to pick it up at 2 p.m., the lady at the bakery just gave it to me and said there's no charge," she said. "And there was a note, and I just started crying, and I said, 'Thank you so much. Thank you. We appreciate those things.'"
Her husband Jonathan is an electronics technician overseas usually stationed on a ship. This is his fourth deployment.
"It's hard because he's such a fantastic dad," she said.
This time it was a complete stranger being fantastic - Oakleaf Publix Store Manager Rick Henning, who comped the cake to show his gratitude.
The workers said this is just part of what they stand for.
"We're so proud of the fact that our culture continues to carry on after over 83 years of connecting and engaging with our customers," Dwaine Stevens, manager of Publix Supermarkets, said. "And this is one great example of how we support our customers, and we serve our customers."
"It's just the thought that counts, the little tiny things," Jones said. "It's not even the fact that it was a free cake it was just nice to know that people support and they realize the sacrifices that we give. We have two small children and he doesn't get to see them grow up and it makes me really sad but it's nice to know that other people care and they see that."
Now close to hundreds of thousands of people have seen what Henning did after Jones posted a picture of the note and it went viral.
"People complain too much, and I just felt there needed to be a compliment to Publix and to Mr. Henning that we care and we appreciate everything he did," Jones said. "I never anticipated this, whatsoever."
But she's thankful, not because she saved $25 on the cake, but because Henning understood the sacrifice her husband and other military members make for our freedom.
"It's something small for you, but it meant a great deal to me and our family. And we really appreciate it," Jones said.
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