Keaton Tilson (19) enlisted in the U.S. Army eight months ago.
The soldier stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, who hasn't been home since Christmas, found out he would have four days off over the Memorial Day weekend.
Shortly after finding out, he went to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and spent the night there, hoping to get on a 5 a.m. flight with a standby ticket. After hours went by and no luck, the teenager asked a gate agent if he had any other options. He even thought about flying into a different airport.
Just when Tilson called his mom to tell her he wasn't coming home, a man walked over to the counter and asked if he could give Tilson his ticket for a flight boarding in 10 minutes.
"I'll go on a later flight," the kind stranger, who was later identified as Josh Rainey, told the agent. He offered to pay for the soldier's $375 ticket so he could go home and see his family.
Photo credit: Keaton Tilson, 19, poses with his 17-year-old sister, 11-year-old brother and 6-year-old sister. (JENNIFER TILSON)