Veterans Day Surprise: Father, Daughter Hy-Vee Breakfast Tradition Continues Overseas

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Hy-Vee serves over 90 thousands free breakfasts every year on Veterans Day, but this year at the Hy-Vee on Fleur Drive in Des Moines one of their employees had a breakfast surprise he will never forget.

Six and a half years ago Army Veteran Denny Young retired from the post office and started working part time at Fleur Drive’s Hy-Vee. Since then, he and his daughter, Carrie, made a tradition of having breakfast together on Veterans Day. But this year she couldn’t make it, at least not in person.

Young wasn’t surprised when Carrie decided to join the Air-force.

“She waited until she was 34-years-old to join, and she said she’s always wanted to do it and she did it, and really proud of her to do it,” Young said.

But that meant Technical Sergeant Carrie Young would be overseas in the Middle East over Veterans Day, missing their annual tradition of Hy-Vee breakfast.

“We get together and have breakfast and she talks about my time in the army and her time in the air force,” Young said.

Sgt. Young knew she wanted to still be there somehow, some way; that’s when she reached out to Hy-Vee.

“Over the last six weeks she gave me her information and sent me the video to keep and send to her dad so he could see that. So for the last six weeks it’s been mum's the word,” Marketing Director for Hy-Vee on Fleur Dr. Kimberly McDonald said.

Standing with his other fellow Hy-Vee Veteran workers, thinking he was just receiving a Hy-Vee jacket, Denny Young was surprised with a video.

“Hi Dad, all my veteran brothers and sisters back home,” Sgt. Young said via video from overseas. “i’m sorry I’m missing out this year on our tradition of eating out at Hy-Vee. The surprises didn’t end there.

“Dad, I had a flag flown in a F-16 on a mission here that dropped a bomb on one of our targets in your honor, and really in everybody’s honor who has served before me,” Sgt. Young said. That flag was delivered to him today.

“Very special. She is going to miss all the holidays, so I’m sad about that but now it’s a lot better,” Denny Young said.

Denny, also known around the store as Mr. Hy-Vee, because he is always smiling but still humble, was able to each lunch with his 17 other fellow Veteran Hy-Vee coworkers.