SEATTLE, WA – Local veteran Jonathan Henry has reported that the traumatic psychological scars he has carried since his numerous wartime deployments were miraculously healed today, thanks to Denny's annual "Free Veteran's Day Pancake Breakfast."
"Today I was actually thinking about killing myself. Got the gun and everything," Henry told reporters. "But when all these people started thanking me for my service and then walking away without any further conversation, I knew I had something to live for."
Earlier this morning, Henry's eyes happened to glance across a week old newspaper which had fatefully fallen open to the brightly colored coupon section. This section was alight with red, white, and blue — local businesses displaying their love for flag and country amongst their pleas to do business with every America-loving consumer in Seattle. There, in the center of the page, Denny's reached out a soothing hand.
"One minute I was picturing my buddy Smith laying on the side of MSR Tampa, and the next I was awash with the possibility of free pancakes. It was kind of spiritual," said Henry.
Upon entering the small buffet style restaurant, Henry was greeted by an overweight woman with five teeth and a lazy eye. Upon hearing that Henry was there for the veteran's pancake breakfast, she thanked him for his service and shuffled him towards a table near the restroom, and demonstrated the mechanism of the pancake buffet. Soon, the entire staff made the rounds.
"I got enough handshakes to carry me to Memorial Day, I think," said Henry. "Maybe even Flag Day."
Sources confirmed that Henry sat alone in a booth, ate pancakes, and graciously shook hands. During the course of the breakfast, he returned to the pancake bar three separate times and chatted with a few older veterans who were having a few drinks that morning.
"Listening to some of the drunken war stories that were loudly told by the other vets getting hammered at the bar while I was trying to eat, I quickly realized that my life wasn't that bad. Did you know in previous wars guys were running from trench to trench wearing khaki as body armor?"
The meal ended shortly after his third trip to the buffet, when management explained the nine pancake maximum. Nonplussed, Henry paid for his soft-drink and stepped out of the restaurant and into the sunlight where he quietly laid to rest all of the ghosts which had been haunting him.
While Denny's is famous for its pancake breakfast, other companies have offered similar rewards for military veterans. Outback Steakhouse routinely offers free Bloomin' Onions, and Starbucks made national headlines by offering Medal of Honor recipient Capt. William Swenson a free pumpkin spice latte.
Starbucks officials stressed that this was a one-time deal, and Swenson would need to receive a second Medal of Honor to qualify for another free coffee.