Wednesday, May 05, 2004

When customers enter Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar on Alcoa Highway, they can help a neighbor fighting for democracy halfway around the world.

Michael Lloyd is a 24-year-old United States Marine serving in Iraq. He is also the brother of Applebee's employee Katie Hensley.

Shortly after Lloyd was deployed about two months ago, the restaurant ``adopted'' him and placed a box with his picture at the front of the restaurant. Since then, customers and employees have continued to fill it with ``anything we'd use today we'd take for granted,'' Hensley said...

The response from customers and employees has been good, manager Cindy Anderson said.

Often, when customers see the box for the first time, they bring personal items to donate on repeat visits, Anderson said.

``There's a customer who is a regular, and he's always bringing something to put in the box,'' Hensley said.

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