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!
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
aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk
. You were
"How in the
world did you know that?" asked Plumb.
your parachute," the man replied.
in surprise and gratitude. 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."
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."
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.
asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has
someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.
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
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, this year,
recognize people who pack your parachutes.
we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without
writing a word, maybe this could explain it: When you are very
busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do, you
forward jokes. And to let you know that you are still
remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you
are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke.
friend, next time when you get a joke, don't think that you've
been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been
thought of today, and your friend on the other end of your
computer wanted to send you a smile, just helping you to pack
I am sharing
this with you as my way of thanking you for your part in packing
my parachute ! And I hope you will share it with those who have
helped pack yours!
TOLD BY CHARLES PLUMB
MUSIC . . . YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE
This speaks to all of us who are
by, but guilty of forwarding jokes!