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A stranger bought a soldier's plane ticket to visit his family over Memorial Day weekend

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A 19-year-old U.S. Army soldier made it home for Memorial Day weekend thanks to the kindness of a stranger. 

Keaton Tilson, who is stationed in Fort Worth, Texas, received approval on May 25 to return home to Granite City, Illinois, for the weekend. The soldier, who hadn't been home since Christmas, was put on standby because it was such short notice, ABC News reports


A stranger noticed Tilson wasn't having much luck with his standby ticket and stepped in to save the day. 

Josh Rainey, of St. Louis, Missouri, bought the soldier at $350 one-way ticket home. 

"I needed to personally and publicly thank him," Keaton's mom Jennifer Tilson, told ABC News. "You don't hear of that all the time, of a complete stranger willing to spend all that money." 


Rainey told ABC News he had tried to give the soldier his ticket earlier but was informed by airline staff that Tilson wasn't next in line for standby seating. That was when he decided to purchase a new ticket instead. 

"With one random act of kindness, this man has made one soldier and his family so happy and grateful," Jennifer Tilson wrote on Facebook. 

Rainey told Fox affiliate KTVI that Tilson's situation touched him personally because his father was armed services member. 

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