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Virginia man pays off Christmas layaway for military families: ‘Like an angel’

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia businessman Luke Hillier paid off nearly $30,000 in Christmas layaway charges for military families at the Oceana Navy Exchange in Virginia Beach.

"To have a random stranger do that for me... oh my gosh. My heart is beating out of my chest right now," Tremaine Burke told WTKR.

Since the Oceana Navy Exchange needed to do each transaction individually, Hillier was in the store for a few hours, which made it possible for him to bump into customers who came in to pay their layaway.

"It feels really good to give back to the men and women who serve our country," Hillier said. "To see their faces, to see the tears in their eyes brought a lot of joy to me."

"That guy is like an angel," Celsa Rucker said. "I'm just so overwhelmed so surprised because this is the first time like somebody's paying for my stuff at the store."

Rucker explained how she previously added a gold bracelet to her layaway as a gift to herself.

"I was thinking about returning it today, too," said Rucker, thinking she couldn't afford it.

Before she could take it off her list, Hillier paid her layaway.

"It's going to be like a remembrance from Mr. Hillier," said Rucker.

For Hillier, being able to gift military families things they actually want and couldn't afford was a gift in itself.

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