PLYMOUTH (WBSM) — Corey Dries spends each day looking for ways to make things better for everyone around him. It’s just who he is, and who he has always been.

“There’s so much negativity going on in this world,” Dries told WBSM. “It’s so sad, and I just want to put smiles on people’s faces.”

Dries, a server at Ocho Cafe in Plymouth’s Colony Place shopping center, posted Tuesday in the All Things Plymouth Facebook group that this coming Saturday – Veterans Day – he will personally pay for the dinner of any veteran that sits in his section between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“This will be coming out of my own pocket to give back for everything you have done to protect our country and as a thank you,” Dries posted. “This is just a small thank you from myself to thank every man and woman who is actively or serving in the military. So come on, stop by and get a nice warm dinner on me!”

Courtesy Corey Dries
Courtesy Corey Dries
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Dries will also celebrate his one-year anniversary of working at Ocho Cafe this weekend, and wanted to do something to help himself celebrate while also acknowledging veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country.

“This is what I do all the time,” Dries said. “I gave out flowers to my customers on Mother’s Day. I gave $100 gift cards to five guys on Father’s Day. On Veterans Day, I want to give out free dinners.”

Dries said a big reason he wants to give back to veterans is because he himself was unable to serve in the military, despite wanting to do so pretty much his entire life.

“I suffer from mental health issues. I always wanted to be in the Army since I was a kid, but I couldn't because of those mental health issues,” he said.

During the Afghan and Iraq wars, Dries, a Kingston resident, would team up with friend Bob Davidson at the Plymouth VFW and create gift boxes to send over to the troops.

“I’m always trying to find ways to give back,” Dries said, noting that he even walks people's dogs for them. “I’d give the shirt off my back for the community. I’d take all my clothes off and give them to someone if they needed them.”

Courtesy Corey Dries
Courtesy Corey Dries
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The 32-year-old is also a trusting soul; initially, he said veterans seeking a dinner on him would not even need to provide proof of their service; however, after talking with a number of friends, including a police officer, he has now opted to ask for a military ID to ensure nobody is taking advantage of his kindness.

“I originally wanted to go off the honor system,” he said. “It’s sad I have to ID people, and I feel uncomfortable doing it. I thought it would be just fine, because of the way I was raised, but I guess I’m going to end up IDing everyone.”

Dries said he is planning on taking money out of his bank account to purchase the meals on Saturday, but that a number of folks have also reached out looking to donate money to help him buy the meals for the veterans.

“I have my Venmo, and people are donating right and left,” he said. “I’ve already picked up several donations (in person) and will be picking up more. It’s so good to have people see what I’m doing and want to be a part of it.”

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Dries said he’s also getting recognized by people as his Facebook group post is going locally viral.

“I had three people come up to me at my job last night and shake my hand,” he said. “I went to Dunkin’ and people wanted to shake my hand. They all said they appreciate what I’m doing.”

Dries said he knows karma will repay him someday for his kindness, but that’s not why he’s doing it.

“This is what I do. I live to give back,” he said. “I’d love to set an example for the younger generation to do the same thing that I’m doing. My motto is, tomorrow’s never given, so you’ve got to live in the present.”

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