Valley man gifted free food for life at Chandler Arby's

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Photos courtesy Daniel Moloney and Travis Coye

CHANDLER, Ariz. (FOX 10) - At 97-years-old, employees here say barely a day goes by that World War II veteran Doug doesn't dine at this Chandler Arby's.

"Hey, Mr. Doug. We just want to know what keeps you coming back to this Arby's location?"

Mr. Doug is a loyal Arby's customer.

"This is the only place I can get a sandwich or get something to anything else to eat that doesn't hurt my stomach," Doug replied.

He sits at this very table and eats the same meal every afternoon.

"He has a stomach disorder, this is unfortunately the only thing he can eat," Travis Coye said.

A roast-beef slider with Swiss cheese and a senior drink... Coke with no ice.

"He comes in with a walker, as soon as we see  him come to the doors, we try [to] grab the doors for him," Christina Gamage said.

Manager Christina Gamage started working at this location near Queen Creek and Alma School Roads two-and-a-half years ago. Doug started showing up shortly after.

"He's gone through a lot being a veteran, coming in, being in a retirement home, but he doesn't have family," she said.

The crew here adopted Doug as their own family. This week, a FOX 10 viewer snapped a photo showing staff at the Arby's presenting Doug with a $200 gift card.

They say lunch is on them.

"He was shocked, hardly had anything to say," one manager said.

But words cannot even begin to express how much Doug means to everyone here.

Employees say they have given Doug their phone numbers. If there's ever a day he can't make it, they will deliver his favorite meal.

After our live report, Arby's decided to give Doug food for life, which will kick in once he uses up that gift card.

A local eye doctor also stopped by the restaurant to offer Doug a free exam and glasses.