Thanks to one stranger’s random and quick act of kindness, an Army soldier was able to go home and see his family for Memorial Day. Josh Rainey bought a flight for Keaton Tilson, a US Army mechanic, and his family is extremely grateful for the heartwarming gesture.
Tilson, a 19-year-old soldier based in Fort Hood, Texas, received approval to go home for Memorial Day Weekend on May 25. However, he was trying to fly standby and couldn’t get on a flight. That was until Josh Rainey saw the ordeal he was going through and tried to give Tilson his ticket from Dallas-Fort Worth International to St. Louis, Missouri. When that move didn’t work either, Rainey simply bought him a ticket, reports KTVI. Tilson was moved by the gesture and couldn’t believe it. “I’m very appreciative because if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” said Tilson to Good Morning America.
Rainey and Tilson were both emotional after the ticket exchange. “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 to KTVI.”It was pennies, pennies on the dollar compared to what I got back from that hug. But that hug was the biggest payment I received.”
Jennifer Streicher-Tilson, the mother of Keaton, was also moved by the gesture. “Words can’t even describe how grateful and surprised we were!” she said to POPSUGAR. She hopes Rainey’s act serves as a positive message and reminder that we can always help someone out. “I know myself and other friends and family will be paying it forward. When we see someone in need, we will help as much as we are able to!” she said. Streicher-Tilson wrote a similar sentiment and shared it on her Facebook page on May 26.
Sometimes, especially in the world we live in today, I am amazed by the kindness of strangers! Keaton just got his…
Posted by Jennifer Streicher-Tilson on Friday, May 26, 2017
This story serves as yet another reminder that no gesture is too small or big to help someone out.