Thanks to a good samaritan this Memorial Day, a 19-year-old U.S. Army soldier was able to reunite with his family.
Keaton Tilson, stationed in Fort Worth, Texas, received approval to return home for the Memorial Day weekend. Wilson was more than excited to visit his family again, but the odds didn’t seem to be in his favor when he reached the airport. Since Tilson was approved on such short notice, he was stuck for two days at the airport while trying to fly stand-by.
That’s when Josh Rainey, a complete stranger, stepped in to help Tilson get home. At first, Rainey tried to offer his own ticket to Tilson, but the airline refused. Rainey didn’t feel like giving up on Tilson, so bought him a one-way, $350 ticket so that the soldier could return home back to his family in Granite City, Illinois.
Tilson couldn’t help but hug Rainey for his generosity.
“I needed to personally and publicly thank [Rainey],” mother Jennifer Tilson told ABC News. “You don’t hear of that all the time of a complete stranger willing to spend all that money.”
Keaton Tilson soon arrived home – just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. His mother captured the emotional moment when he surprised his younger siblings on camera.
“We are super appreciative that Josh did this so Keaton could come home,” she continued. “I know it was short, but it was better than nothing.”
“This is so much more about him,” Rainey said. “He has chosen to give up at least the next four years of his life. He got the week off. Instead of choosing to travel or see another country, he had to get home to his family.”
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