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Kind stranger buys soldier a plane ticket so he can go home for Memorial Day

American Flag (Anthony Delanoix/Unsplash)
May 29, 2017

There is much kindness left in the world today.

A Good Samaritan purchased a plane ticket for 19-year-old Keaton Tilson, a U.S. Army mechanic from Granite City, Illinois. Tilson is stationed at Fort Hood in Texas and was given last-minute leave to go home for Memorial Day; however, he was stuck at the Dallas Airport for two days trying to fly home on standby.

It was then that Missouri resident Josh Rainey stepped in and offered to give up his ticket.

When told that he was not allowed to do that, Rainey decided – after consulting his wife – that they would buy Tilson a plane ticket to St. Louis.

“We agreed both that it was the right thing to do to go back and buy the ticket,” Rainey told Fox 2 in St. Louis.

“I’m very appreciative because if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” Tilson told Fox 2 from a family lake house in Illinois. “Honestly I feel like I would still be at the airport because it’s Memorial Day weekend.”

The $341 he spent on the ticket for Tilson was more than worth it to know the Army mechanic could spend Memorial Day with his family.

“He walked away and came back and asked if he could hug me, and I think we both had to fight back the tears after that,” Rainey told Fox 2. “It was pennies, pennies on the dollar compared to what I got back from that hug.”