Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, who was a jet pilot during the Vietnam War. After seventy-five combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb safely ejected and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in a Communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on the lessons he learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"
Somewhat surprised, Plumb asked, "How in the world did you know that?
The man replied, "I packed your parachute."
Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked."
"It sure did. If the chute you packed hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today!" Plumb responded.
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. He says, "I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you, or anything else, because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor."