How a quietly-bought lunch spoke volumes

Posted at 11:09 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-30 23:31:38-05

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. -- Ashley Calvert wasn't looking for any recognition. She just wanted to say "thanks."

Kenton County Police Officer Paul Roemer, though, was so touched by her kindness that he had to share it with everyone he knows.

Roemer stopped into the Domino's Pizza in Independence, Kentucky for lunch Wednesday. He didn't know Calvert, working behind the register, had told her husband she planned to buy lunch for the next police officer she saw.

"I can take the five seconds to pay for somebody else's food, and it sounded like he was just on a call, too," she said.

Roemer was halfway through a busy shift, and he was hungry. Calvert wouldn't let him pay.

"I was like, 'Oh, it's not necessary. I appreciate the gesture, but it's not necessary,' but she was insistent," he recalled.

Officer Roemer says the small gesture meant a lot. Photo by Evan Millward

Calvert comes from a family in law enforcement; she said she's noticed attitudes change toward police.

"It hits close to home, and police, they're just doing their jobs," she said.

She didn't really want to talk about that lunch, saying her actions were just a way of showing respect. "If you show respect you gain it," she said.

Roemer, though, told his family and friends about Calvert's kind gesture on social media.

"She thought it would make my day. Like, she said she thought I was having a rough day, and it was a little busy and hectic -- and it did. It brought a smile to my face, and I appreciate it," he said.

What neither of them knew: Calvert's manager said his father, also an officer, was killed in the line of duty 43 years ago last month. The franchise owner is coming up with a way to honor what Calvert did for Roemer.