Do you know who packs your parachute?

Who packs your parachuteCaptain Charlie Plumb, a US Navy Pilot, flew the F-4 Phantom Jet in 74 successful combat missions over Vietnam.  He was within five days of returning home, when his plane was shot down over North Vietnam by a surface to air missile.

He spent the next six years in several different prison camps enduring the torture and the loneliness of captivity.  

Many years later, after he was repatriated, Captain Plumb was in a restaurant in Kansas City.  A few tables over, he noticed a man that kept looking his way.  The man soon got up and said, “You’re Captain Plumb.”

The man continued, “You flew fighter jets in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk.  You were shot down, parachuted into enemy hands and spent six years as a prisoner of war.”

Captain Plumb said, “How in the world did you know all that?”

The man replied, “Because I packed your parachute.”

Captain Plumb was speechless.  He thanked the man and told him of the many prayers he said for him for saving his life.  He never thought he would have the opportunity to show his gratitude in person. 

Charlie didn’t get much sleep that night.  He kept thinking about the man he met.  He wondered how many times he might have passed him on this ship without as much as a simple hello.   He could have cared less until the day he packed his parachute. 

This story led me to think about how much we need each other in life.

And more importantly, the people in life who lift you up when your whole world has been turned upside down. 

Take time today to reach out and thank those people for being there and packing your parachute. 

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