This Army Ranger-Turned-NFL Tackle Proved Not All Overbooked Flights End In Disaster

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

At this point in American history, it’s generally understood that overbooking seats on commercial flights is a horrible feature of the grossly incompetent U.S. airline industry.  But not every seating crisis on a commercial flight has to end with a bloody face, social media outrage, and a shareholder loss of $800 million.

Alejandro Villanueva, a veteran turned NFL tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, gave up his seat on an overbooked connecting flight out of Boston so Pine-Richland High School student Maddie Hudak wouldn’t miss a trip to Spain with her classmates. And he did it for free, refusing compensation from the airline for his trouble, according to 247Sports.

“We were very appreciative!” wrote Ronald Hudak, Maddie’s father.

Those familiar with Villanueva won’t be surprised by his act of kindness. A former Army Ranger captain, he served three tours in Afghanistan and received a Bronze Star before joining the Steelers in 2015.

Villanueva had previously made headlines in 2016 for his outspoken remarks about San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his choice to kneel during the national anthem.

"I agree that America is not perfect,” Villanueva told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at the time. “I agree there are lot of issues with minorities in this country, I agree we should do something about it. I don't know if the most effective way is to sit down when the national anthem of the country that is providing you freedom and providing you $60 million a year is the best way to do it when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting our freedom for less than $20,000 a year."

Villanueva has earned praise both inside and outside of the Steelers family because of his dedication, respectful nature, and selflessness.

"I'm telling you, this guys has presidential qualities," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told 247Sports. "I'd vote for him. Given time, this guy is gonna master anything you put in front of him.”

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005

Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.

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REUTERS/Carlos Barria

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.

Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"

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A low-flying C-17 gave Nashville residents a fright on Friday when the aircraft made several unannounced passes over the city's bustling downtown.

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George W. Bush/Instagram

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.

In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.

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