From: Fox News Insider, by Staff, on May 30, 2017
Stranger Buys Plane Ticket for Soldier So He Can Return Home for Memorial Day
A 19-year-old U.S. soldier was able to come home for the first time since Christmas when a total stranger bought him a plane ticket for Memorial Day weekend.
Keaton Tilson, a U.S. Army mechanic stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, waited in the Dallas airport for two days, hoping to fly on standby after getting last-minute leave to come home.
Time wasted away and Tilson’s chances at seeing his loved ones in the St. Louis area got slimmer. Then Josh Rainey from St. Louis County intervened.
Rainey offered his ticket to Tilson, but the airline refused to let him transfer it. He started to walk away, but then turned around and bought the soldier his own ticket.
“Got discouraged. Apologized. He thanked me. I walked away, and I called my wife, which I would do in a situation like that to kind of ask for her advice, and we agreed both that it was the right thing to do to go back and buy the ticket,” Rainey said.
The young soldier asked his benefactor if he could hug him afterward. Both men fought back tears, Rainey said.
“I know I’m in uniform, but at the same time, I’m a person just like he is, and for him to do that not even knowing who I am was just … it makes me so appreciative,” Tilson said.
“It was pennies. It was pennies on the dollar compared to what I got back after he gave me that hug … It was really amazing,” Rainey remembered.
The kind and patriotic deed coincide with Memorial Day when America calls to mind the fallen warriors who have preserved the freedoms we enjoy in our country.
The Good Samaritan said he will keep the receipt of the ticket to remind himself what is really important in life: family and serving others.
Watch the reactions of both men above.
Sorry, but I couldn’t get the accompanying video to work, it wasn’t a format that works here.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t detract from the kind of good deed that deserves appreciation. Not only from the soldier but from all of us who support our military, Mr. Rainey (and his wife) deserve kudos, thanks, prayers and a big OOH RAH from those of us who hold our men and women of our armed forces in the highest regard. I’d like to think that I would have done the same thing. I hope that all of you feel just a little bit better about your fellow Americans (as I do) when we see such a selfless act of genuine appreciation.
Garnet’s hat is off to Mr. Rainey and his wife. Well done, patriots, well done.