The CEO of a software company has offered to pay the flight fare of five active service members so that they can spend Christmas with their families.
The whole thing began when North Carolina tech entrepreneur Ed Roshitsh posted on professional networking site “LinkedIn” with an offer to help military personnel get home of the holidays.
“Active duty US armed forces member who can’t afford to fly home for holidays? I will personally pay for five random service member’s airfare home,” he wrote. “Share and have the hero DM me. I will pull five names out of a hat on Dec. 3rd.”
Ed told WBTV that 18 hours went by without a single request for funds. Then, suddenly, the messages came flooding in.
“An email comes in. Another email comes in. Another email comes in,” he told the outlet, noting that some 60 people got in touch about the offer.
“I naively, innocently threw this out there, thinking that I will be able to give away, maybe, my five tickets,” Rohitsh, an airforce veteran himself, told WRAL TechWire.
“The thing just blew up. Like a snowball going down a hill, it caught more traction.”
Incredibly, as the list grew longer, other professionals started chipping in to help.
So far, some 42 service members have had their plane tickets booked, and Roshitsh has no plans of letting up any time soon.
“As long as the donations keep trickling in. I’ll keep drawing names,” he said.
The average ticket price is around $900, with a total of $30,000 collected so far. Roshitsh has vowed to cover the five most expensive flights, one of which was for a Private First Class flying from Okinawa, Japan to Palm Springs.
“He’s a private first class. That’s a $3000 ticket. I’m guessing that’s probably 20 percent of his paycheck for the whole year, just for that plane ticket home,” the CEO explained. “He was not going to get home for Christmas if someone didn’t step in.”
Rohitsch is also encouraging others to get involved in these wonderful acts of kindness and help bring some soldiers home to their families this Christmas. “Anybody could do this. Sponsoring one military person to get back home from the holidays is a real tangible thing,” he said. “I had no special power. I had a keyboard and five sentences, and got this thing rolling. Where there’s a will there’s a way.”