Stranger buys airline ticket for soldier trying to get home (VIDEO)

A newly enlisted soldier was able to spend some time with his family after a complete stranger purchased him an airline ticket at a Dallas airport over the weekend.

Keaton Tilson, 19, was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and hasn’t seen his family in Granite City, Illinois, since Christmas. So when Tilson was given last-minute leave, he was excited to surprise his family.

Tilson went to the airport hoping to snatch a seat as a standby, but after two days of waiting at the airport ahead of a busy holiday weekend, he was beginning to lose hope.

When Josh Rainey realized Tilson’s predicament, he offered to give Tilson his ticket, but was promptly informed by the ticket agent that such transfers were prohibited. Then Rainey made a phone call to his wife in Glendale, Missouri.

“We agreed both that it was the right thing to do to go back and buy the ticket,” Rainey said.

So Rainey not only gave up his seat, but also purchased another ticket for Tilson to fly into St. Louis.

“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. “It was pennies, pennies on the dollar compared to what I got back from that hug.”

Rainey, whose father served in the military and was a law enforcement officer, said the reward he received was worth far more than the $341 he spent on the ticket.

[ Fox 2 Now ]