Airman's Left Stunned By Stranger After Flight's Cancelled
Kristin Danley 8/21/2018
Being apart from your family while serving in the military can be tough. Thankfully there's Facetime, phone calls, emails and good old-fashioned letter writing.
But when there's an emergency, that looming distance is even more heart-wrenching. U.S. Air Force member Brittany Bunker was stationed at her base when she was notified that her father's health was rapidly declining and she needed to hasten home.
Her dad was only given a couple more days to live. The airman had to hustle just so she could say goodbye one last time to her father.
Brittany sought permission from her superiors and blessedly was granted emergency leave. It would take four flights just so she could try and make it home in time, accompanied by her service dog.
Unfortunately, her first flight took off late, which caused her to miss her next flight. The domino effect was nerve-wracking and Brittany was freaking out.
Thankfully there was one more flight left that would help her reach her destination. As she was preparing to board her second flight, a stranger approached her.
Brittany's nerves were already fried. She was frantic to get home while simultaneously taking care of Shiva her service dog.
The stranger simply wanted to show Brittany photos of her Malinois and shared that he had served in the National Guard. Oddly enough, they both grew up in the same area, Brittany learned.
Their conversation helped Brittany relax a bit, but her newfound calmness was shattered when she learned her last flight home had been cancelled. She HAD to get home to see her dad one last time before he passed away.
Brittany frantically phoned her family as she made her way off the plane, trying to figure out how else she could make it home. Suddenly, two flight attendants swarmed her.
They told her they found her a flight at the same time her family member on the other end of the phone promised to drive five hours to pick her up from the airport, just so she could see her dad. Relief flooded Brittany, who was already feeling quite emotional at this point.
But then the stranger she had spoken with earlier approached her again while he was on the phone. This good Samaritan had arranged for a professional driving company to escort her from the airport directly to her home -- all at his expense.
"I was apprehensive at first, but he showed the receipts to the flight attendants and when the driver arrived, he sent them a picture of the car, the license plate and the driver. Before I left, he said all he wanted in return was for me to let him know I made it home."
Brittany sped from the Chicago airport five hours to her front door in the chaffeuered car. She arrived at 3 a.m. April 4 and her father passed away the next morning.
"Thanks to this man's selflessness, I was able to make it home and say goodbye to my father... There really are good people in this world, and I will never be able to thank him enough for what he did. But I hope that one day I will be able to pay it forward to someone in need like it was done for me."
The man later told the NBC 5:
"My patriotic gesture of kindness was focused solely on helping someone facing an extremely difficult personal situation while simultaneously protecting our country."
He urged everyone to find their own special way to show their thanks to our military just like he did with Brittany.