Updated: July 10, 2020 05:33 PM
Created: July 10, 2020 03:46 PM
A teenage girl was trying to check her bag at an upstate New York airport to catch her flight to see a sick relative but was unable to pay for her bag, according to a Facebook post that has gone viral.
"The girl was upset talking to her dad on FaceTime, she was trying to check her bag and she didn't have a credit card, the agents didn't let the dad pay for it using his credit card," said Greg McLean who witnessed the moment on Tuesday at the Watertown Airport.
What happened next is what led McLean to post about the moment on social media.
"I noticed an Army solider with a 10th Mountain Division patch on a bag and stepped up ... he barely said two words ... 'Don't worry, I got this'" McLean said.
McLean said the solider paid for the girl's bag so she could make the flight.
McLean knew the Army solider's last name, “Conner,” because it was on his backpack but wanted others to know about the young solider's act of kindness.
"I woke up on Wednesday morning, I got a message from one of my friends saying ‘Hey man, good job,’ I was like 'What?'” said Michael Conner.
Back home in East Bethel, 20-year-old U.S. Army Specialist Conner said his phone blew up, which led him to read the Facebook post.
"It's crazy I wasn't expecting it,” said Conner. "I wasn't going to let her miss her flight for a $50 dollar bag … you know.”
Conner said he got out of the security line and went over to the counter, handed over his card to pay for the girl’s bag.
"I'm like don't worry about it ... just fly home and have a safe flight," Conner said.
Even Army leaders at Fort Drum in New York, where he’s based, wanted to meet with him about the moment at the airport, he said.
Conner, who attended St. Francis High School, was flying back to Minnesota for a few weeks of leave after a recent surgery on his arm.
After Conner was identified on social media, he has connected with McLean, who made the post.
"Something I gathered from this doing a small gesture for someone it can make a huge impact and bring joy to a lot of people," said McLean, who has heard from people around the globe about the act of kindness.
“I think it needs to happen a lot more in life,” Conner said about his simple act. “A lot of people would rather stick with their day and not help out another person they don't know, I think that should change."
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