Maj. Shawn Fulker emailed pizza chain Mellow Mushroom's corporate website Thursday to ask about paying with his credit card over the phone to have a pizza and a $50 gift card delivered to his wife at their Jacksonville, Fla., home, ABC News reported Tuesday.
However, Brooke Chafee, a manager at the Jacksonville store, and her workers decided they would not only honor Fulker's request free of charge, but they would add a few special touches to the delivery.
"We had the cook make a heart-shaped pizza, and then we stopped by the nearest Publix (supermarket) to get flowers and then we picked up balloons, just to kind of make it special," Chafee said.
The birthday surprise was delivered Thursday to Josephine Fulker.
John Valentino, who owns the Mellow Mushroom franchise as well as a few other locations in the city, said he was happy his store was able to help Shawn Fulker.
"Of course we weren't going to charge him for anything," Valentino said. "Him being a serviceman and his wife being home ... Hopefully in her husband's absence we were able to help her have a great birthday while he's over in Afghanistan serving our country."
Shawn Fulker said the company's gesture helped him feel closer to home.
"I miss my wife and son so much, and seeing that photo of them smiling at my front door brought tears to my eyes," he wrote. "When I received the email and photo from Mellow Mushroom I was sitting at my desk, and had to get up and leave the room to compose myself. I am very grateful for that moment."