Veteran Boards Flight Piloted By Man Who Rescued Him From War

One man got the chance to see how his heroic actions impacted another person's life in an amazing way.

Image of an Air Force pilot saluting Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

One of the blessings of social media is that we can share and view inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime moments that we would never have heard of otherwise. In one such case, an unexpected moment between a pilot and a passenger touched the hearts of thousands of people online.

While boarding his flight, a veteran had a chance encounter with the pilot who flew him out of Afghanistan almost ten years ago.

The Facebook page “A Fly Guy's Cabin Crew Lounge,” which shares airline-related posts, recently uploaded the story of a chance encounter that neither party could have ever anticipated. When veteran Todd Love boarded his flight to Portland, he was approached by the pilot, who had noticed him as he was getting on the plane. The pilot asked Love if he had been in the military, and if he had been in Afghanistan in 2010.


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To Love’s surprise, the pilot told him that he recognized him. He was the pilot who had flown him out of Afghanistan.

“He recognized me, my injuries, and my face,” the Facebook post read. “He told me he never knew if I survived or not.” Love learned that the pilot’s name is Marc Vincequere, who now flies with United Airlines. “Crazy small world,” Love wrote.

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Both of the men involved in the meeting shared more of each of their stories online.

According to an interview with the Worcester Telegram, Lt. Col. Vincequere served in the Air Force for 21 years and had flown commercially for United for 13 years as of 2018. He and Love were both deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.

Love elaborated on his experience in a story he submitted to Love What Matters. During his deployment, he lost the lower half of his body after stepping on an IED and was rescued by helicopter from an active battlefield. He was then flown from Afghanistan to DC, a flight he later described as “the most painful time in [his] life.” “I feel like living each moment at that point was a choice and I was desperately hanging in as best I could,” Love said.

Love shared that gratitude helped him deal with the severity of his injuries, and that he had “always wanted to meet everyone involved from the moment [he] stepped on that IED to the moment [he] was back [on] US soil.”

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He wrote, “It’s humbling to know that these people are from many walks of life, each practicing their profession, from different nationalities, skin tones, and belief systems as well. All I know is I owe them my life.”

When Love came across Vincequere, he was on his way to Oregon to meet with his former platoon. They were training for a fundraiser for the Force Reconnaissance Foundation where the others would carry him up Mt. Baker to raise money for members of the Reconnaissance Community of the United States Marine Corps.

Comments on the Facebook post thanked both men for their service and were glad to have read such an amazing story. “Amazing how small our world is and yet we can touch so many. Thank you for your service,” said one commenter.


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Jessica Bracken is a writer living in Davis, California. She covers entertainment and news for YourTango.