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Memorial Day Surprise - Stranger Pays For Young Soldier's Flight Home To See Family

As weary travelers everywhere know, there’s nothing like returning to home sweet home after some lengthy time on the road. That’s especially true for returning soldiers, and just the thought of getting back home can help them get through some especially trying days. As Yahoo shares, US Army soldier Keaton Tilson was having another one of those days when he got to the airport, but a kind stranger would ensure his day came to a happy conclusion.

Tilson was desperately trying to get home, but all he had was a standby ticket. He wasn’t having too much luck with that, so a man named Josh Rainey stepped in to shell out $350 so that the soldier could have a plane ticket home.

"I needed to personally and publicly thank him. You don't hear of that all the time of a complete stranger willing to spend all that money. We needed to find out who he was,” said Tilson’s mom Jennifer. "We are super appreciative that Josh did this so Keaton could come home. I know it was short, but it was better than nothing."

Rainey became aware of the soldier’s plight while he was at the airport, and he attempted to swap tickets with Tilson so that he could get home. Airline staff stepped in and put a stop to that as Tilson didn’t have an actual ticket to exchange, so Rainey stepped in to buy him a ticket outright.

"He missed a couple of flights because they were full," Jennifer continued. "He called back a few minutes later all choked up and said, 'Somebody just bought my ticket.'"

Rainey was tracked down for comments, and it sounds like his kind gesture was incredibly well-received.

"I didn't go over there thinking I was going to buy a ticket, but it didn't look like he just wanted to go home, it looked like it was for a reason. He shook my hand and walked away and then came back and asked if he could give me a hug,” he said. “Getting a hug from him was the most payment I could've gotten.”

While Rainey has been praised for his actions, he’s defraying credit for the real hero in this story.

"This is so much more about him. He has chosen to give up at least the next four years of his life. He got the week off,” Rainey said. “Instead of choosing to travel or see another country, he had to get home to his family."

This is an incredible story that deserves more attention than it’s received. While there’s plenty of room for bad news in the average news cycle, stories of tremendous acts of kindness can often get lost in the shuffle. It shouldn’t be that way, as these touching stories can inspire even more random acts of kindness to take place. That’s something we could all use a little more of these days, as there’s enough bad news out there to last all of us a couple of different lifetimes.

Source: Yahoo News
Photo: ABC Screenshot

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