Who Packed Your Parachute?
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.

Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate, was a jet 
pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was 
destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and 
parachuted into enemy lands. He was captured and spent 
six years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived 
the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that 

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.

Plumb gasped 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."

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that 
man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he might 
have 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 
on 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. Plumb 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. 
His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves 
to weather whatever storms lie ahead. As you go 
through this week, this month, this year... recognize 
people who pack your parachute!