Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Traveler purchases sack lunches for all the soldiers on his plane.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, October 2008]
Origins: Variously titled "Just Lunch," "Act of Kindness," "The Sack Lunches," the story quoted above began circulating in the online world in August 2008. It was copied from the magazine Renewed & Ready, Adventist Living for Today where it appeared in that publication's July 2008 issue titled "An Unforgettable Flight" and presented as having been written "by Beverly Brass (as told by Denny Kukich)." Denny Kukich, the man who had supposedly paid for the soldiers' box lunches, was further identified as hailing from Wood Dale, Illinois.
There are two differences between the original account and the story that has come to be circulated online. First, the original's opening paragraph contained an element that has subsequently been excised from the text: woven into the description of being seated on the plane was the teller's desire to "share Jesus" with a stranger, a motive that prompted him to strike up a conversation with the soldier seated nearby.
I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. This is going to be a long flight. I'm glad I have a good book to read, and perhaps I will get a short nap. I fly frequently; I always look for an opportunity to share Jesus with someone. I wondered who it could be because there were empty seats all around me. Not much of a chance to talk to anyone. Just beforeSecond, while the original ends with "It seemed so little," the tale circulated online completes with a coda that was added by an anonymous person whose cyber hands the account passed through:
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.As to whether the story is an accurate account of an actual event or a work of fiction meant to inspire its readers into acts of charity and appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, for the time being that determination has to remain up in the air. We haven't yet been able to get in touch with Denny Kukich (either through the church or directly), and the tale contains precious little by way of checkable facts (such as when the flight took place, where it left from, and what airline was involved). Lacking those details, locating independent third-party confirmation via questioning people on that flight would be akin to hunting for a needle in a haystack.
However, factual or not, the tale's larger message about showing appreciation for members of the armed forces is a good one.
Barbara "let's do lunch" Mikkelson
Last updated: 12 November 2008
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