An 82-year-old Navy veteran working at a Maryland Walmart has retired thanks to an interaction with a customer that went viral on social media.
Butch Marion officially retired from his job on Wednesday weeks after a Walmart customer walked into the store and filmed the 82-year-old veteran ringing up items in the checkout line and posted the video on TikTok which raised over $100,000 for Marion, WTTG-TV reported.
That customer, bug extermination business owner Rory McCarty, had seen a previous TikTok video where a woman went into a Walmart and filmed an elderly employee bagging groceries and raised money for that employee by posting the video online.
McCarty, wanting to do a similar good deed on TikTok, filmed a video of himself explaining the TikTok trend he had seen to Marion and then posted that video on TikTok.
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The video was seen over 2 million times on social media and a GoFundMe was formed to raise money for Marion which raised $108,000 all of which was presented to Marion in the form of a large check on Wednesday.
“I feel like a new man,” Marion told WTTG-TV. “This is just unreal.”
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Marion, a father and grandfather, had a job at General Motors but retired so he could help take care of his ex-wife’s husband. When the husband passed away, Marion took care of his ex-wife and then returned to work when she passed away.
Marion said he will pay off bills, relax at home, and use the money to travel to Florida for a 3-week trip to see his daughters and grandchildren that he hasn’t hugged in years.
“Bird out of a cage,” Marion said.
McCarty acknowledged that he “just never dreamed this would happen.”
“I’m just so excited for him,” he said.
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