Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam.

After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands.

He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison.

He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons 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!”

“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.

“I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!”

Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man.

Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he had 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 because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?”

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.

He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory – he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute.

He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Source: “Insights into Excellence”

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Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important.

We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, recognize the people who pack your parachutes.

I am posting this story as my way of thanking each and everyone of you for your part in packing my parachute.

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How’s your parachute packing coming along? Who looks to you for strength in times of need? And perhaps, more importantly, who are the special people in your life who provide you with the encouragement you need when the chips are down? Perhaps it’s time now to give those people a call and thank them for packing your chute.

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Thank you so much to Mel, Wennnn & Misha who awarded me with “Nice Matters Awards”.

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“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

Besides passing this award back to Mel, Wennnn & Misha, I am passing it to my following friends who have helped me packed my parachute:

Ian, Winn, Doc, Angele, LaSh, Hooi Ching, Tine, Selba, Alexandra, Gallivanter, Alison, Kat, Lil, TitahpahChe-Cheh, Endroo, _butt, IamikelDabido, MaySengkorTim, Cocka, LB, Kyels, Misti, Beetrice, Sha, Moz, Lex, LX, Waz, Stev, Angel, Cutiepie, Yvy, AnnElviza, Gab & X5.

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