Complete Stranger Buys Plane Ticket For Soldier To Visit His Family For Memorial Day

by 3 years ago

Today is Memorial Day, or as it was known in May of 1868 as Decoration Day. Whatever the name, today is the day that we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this incredible country as well as those who protect our freedoms every single day. One soldier was just trying to get back to his family over the Memorial Day Weekend but was having issues. That’s when a complete stranger stepped in and knocked it out of the park.

On May 25, Keaton Tilson received approval to return home for Memorial Day Weekend, but it was such short notice that he was on standby to get on a flight home to Granite City, Illinois. The 19-year-old U.S. Army soldier who is stationed at Ft. Hood in Texas was attempting to go back home for the MDW but it wasn’t going smoothly.

That’s when Josh Rainey, a complete stranger, noticed Keaton wasn’t having much luck with his standby ticket.

So he bought him a one-way ticket home so Keaton could reach Illinois immediately. The 35-year-old good Samaritan, of St. Louis, Missouri, spent $350 for Keaton’s plane ticket so he could go home.

“I needed to personally and publicly thank him,” Keaton’s mom Jennifer Tilson said of Rainey. “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.

“We are super appreciative that Josh did this so Keaton could come home,” she added. “I know it was short, but it was better than nothing.”

“He missed a couple of flights because they were full,” she added. “He called back a few minutes later all choked up and said, ‘Somebody just bought my ticket.'”

“This is so much more about him,” Rainey stated. “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.”

We should really try to thank all those who serve this great nation not just one day of the year, but every day.


Paul Sacca has written on a myriad of topics ranging from breaking news to movies to technology to men's interests for nearly a decade. His articles have been cited in numerous media powerhouses such as USA Today, New York Daily News, New York Post, CNN, Sports Illustrated, Huffington Post, Deadspin, and The Big Lead.

TAGSArmyKeaton TilsonMDWMemorial DayMilitary Valor