My husband, an Army captain who was in uniform, our young daughter and I went to a restaurant near Potomac Mills for dinner Oct. 15. When it came time to pay the check, our waiter informed us that another patron had picked up our tab. I was blown away.

With all the partisan bickering and negative news we hear, here was an unexpected kindness in the middle of our ordinary day.

The kind man -- in a yellow shirt, our waiter said -- left before we knew of his generosity or had a chance to thank him. I hope he reads this.

I hope everyone who ever offered a kind word or gesture to a military family knows that it is appreciated beyond measure. Everyone gets so wrapped up in political wrangling that sometimes people forget that families are part of the military, too. It means so much to a military wife like me to know that someone recognizes what is at stake for so many of us.

The dinner was lovely, but for the gesture of support, I cannot give adequate voice. Thank you, man in the yellow shirt. You're a large part of what makes America great.

CYNTHIA RIVENBARK

Woodbridge