Keaton Tilson, a U.S. Army mechanic from Granite City, Illinois, was stuck in a Dallas airport over the weekend but was able to make it home to his family thanks to the kindness of a stranger.
Tilson, who is stationed at Ft. Hood in Texas and received last minute leave to come home, was stuck at a Dallas airport for two days. Tilson was attempting to fly standby, however, his chances of catching a flight were diminishing by the hour.
That’s when Glendale, Missouri resident Josh Rainey, offered to give up his ticket. When the ticket agent for the airline explained that wasn’t allowed, Rainey called his wife and they decided to buy Tilson a plane ticket to St. Louis.
Via Fox 2:
“We agreed both that it was the right thing to do to go back and buy the ticket,” said Josh Rainey.
“I’m very appreciative because if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” said Tilson, from a family lake house in Illinois. “Honestly I feel like I would still be at the airport because it’s Memorial Day weekend.”
“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,” said Rainey. “It was pennies, pennies on the dollar compared to what I got back from that hug.”
Tilson, just 19 years old, said the experience gave him the sense that people still appreciate military service.