Mary Ann Bennett: A stranger's gift

January 4, 2013 

A stranger’s gift

On Dec. 21, through the kindness of a stranger, my son Andy arrived home in time to celebrate my birthday.

Andy just returned from Afghanistan where he was injured, leaving a noticeable scar on his face. He had a reservation for the 22nd but found that he was able to leave on the 21st. He headed to the airport hoping he could change his ticket to make it home for my birthday. Unfortunately, he found it would be too expensive so he decided to wait until his scheduled flight at 6 a.m.

A man noticed his scar and asked about his service and injuries. Andy mentioned that he had hoped to make it home that night but was sitting up in the airport. The stranger suggested my son talk to Southwest Air, which had two seats left for a flight that would arrive in Greenville, S.C., at 7:10 p.m. on the 21st. The kind stranger, who said he was a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran, insisted on buying the ticket so that Andy could be home that night.

Words can never express how moved we are. My understanding is that the stranger lives in the Raleigh area. A stranger to us, but someone we will always remember and hold dear.

Mary Ann Bennett

Huntersville

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