When fate presents us with the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life, we shouldn’t shy away. We should leap at the chance to help, like Denny Kukich did on a recent flight.
Denny had just shoved his carry-on suitcase into the overhead luggage compartment and settled down into his reserved seat with a good book. He even contemplated taking a rejuvenating nap during the long flight.
Shortly before take-off, a group of soldiers boarded the plane and sat down in the vacant seats surrounding Denny. He decided to strike up a conversation with one of the soldiers seated closest to him.
“Where are you headed?”
The soldier informed him the crew was headed to Petawawa. They would be engaging in special training for two weeks, then ship off to Afghanistan for deployment.
One hour into their trip, a flight attendant announced that sack lunches were available to all passengers for $5. There was still a few hours left to go in their flight, so Denny bought himself a meal.
Then he overheard one of the soldiers ask his troop mate if was going to buy a lunch. Even though they were probably hungry, he said no.
“That seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks. I’ll wait till we get to base.”
Denny glanced around and realized that none of the soldiers were buying a sack lunch. So Denny decided to take matters into his own hands, he told Love What Matters.
These soldiers protect our freedom. They sacrifice their lives to fight overseas.
Buying each of them a sack lunch on a long flight to training was the least Denny felt he could do. So he approached a flight attendant, handed her $50 and instructed her to give each soldier a sack lunch.
“She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. ‘My son was a soldier in Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.'”
The flight attendant loaded up 10 sacks in her arms and handed them to the soldiers. Then she paused by Denny’s seat and asked if he liked beef or chicken.
Confused, he replied chicken. Then, she returned with a first class dinner plate just for Denny.
But the chain of generosity didn’t stop there. As Denny headed to the restroom afterward, a stranger stopped him.
“‘I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.’ He handed me $25.”
Stunned, Denny returned to his seat and spied the flight captain approaching him. He reached out his hand to shake Denny’s and thank him for what he had done for the soldiers.
“I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.”
Then, the plane erupted into applause. Later as he was walking down the aisle stretching his legs, another stranger shook his hand and gave him $25.
After the plane landed and everyone disembarked, yet another passenger approached him. He stuffed another $25 in Denny’s pocket.
“Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them $75. ‘It will take you some time to reach the base… It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'”
Denny walked to his car and whispered a prayer for their safety. It took just one wonderful act of kindness to start a chain of events that left 10 soldiers feeling loved and respected at the end of the flight.
What an incredible thing that happened thousands of feet up in the air. Bless those soldiers and everyone who demonstrated their appreciation for them.