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WWII veteran from Atlantic Beach gets surprised by son at Beach Diner

8:03 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- He stormed the beaches of Normandy and prides himself on being hard to surprise, but a local 93-year-old military veteran got just that.

There's a small restaurant in Atlantic Beach and in it is regular customer, Andy Lyle.

"I come twice a day!"

But this visit wasn't like every other one. Today, this small diner came with a big surprise. Andy's son, also named Andy, flew in all the way from Washington to surprise his father.

"I'm astonished! I talked to him last night in his office! In Seattle of all places! 3,000 miles away!"

The tradition to eat at the Beach Diner started as a family years ago. But for the past few years Andy would bring his wife, married since 1950, who was suffering from Parkinson's disease.

When she passed away just one year ago, Andy kept coming. "I'm the only one home and I hate to cook for myself, and if I did, who do you talk to?"

So he comes to the diner and shares meals with a new family.

Barry Adeeb, Beach Diner's owner, says Andy is a fantastic fixture.

"You've heard of Charlie's Angels, well, Charlie's Angels would have been a better title had it been Andy's Angels. So I found Andy, and I put angels, Joann, my mother and Sue and he's got a bevy of angels to have breakfast and lunch with him!"

So for one day, Andy gets to share a meal with family members -- new and old.

Andy enlisted in the Army for World War II when he was 21 years old. He also served in the Korean War as a reservist. He worked in military intelligence and was awarded three purple hearts.

You can keep up with Erica on facebook at Or follow her on Twitter: @EricaEdwardsFCN

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