It started as an ordinary trip. Army Staff Sgt. Jason Moore and his wife Beth traveled from Fort Hood, Texas, to Ohio for a wedding, their two young children in tow.
After finding out a close family member in Ohio was diagnosed with cancer, Beth and the two kids stayed a few days longer while Jason went back to his duty station to report for work. But when the trio went to catch their flight at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, nothing went as planned.
“First the plane had some sort of maintenance issue which delayed us for hours,” she said. “Then it was announced it would be even a few more hours and then finally the flight was was outright cancelled.
“Fortunately we were right next to the USO, so I was able to bring the kids in there and wait for who knows how long.”
Thinking her husband would be there traveling with her for the duration of the trip, Beth left the family stroller at home and was ill-prepared to handle both the needs of a 7-month-old and a newly potty-trained 2-year-old toddler, who, of course, had to use the bathroom at the exact moment the 7-month-old needed to be put down to sleep.
Recognizing the needs of the overwhelmed mother, quick-thinking USO volunteer Peggy Littrell fashioned a makeshift crib from two chairs she found inside the USO lounge, facing them toward each other and lining the furniture with a blanket. Littrell watched the 7-month-old so Beth could take care of the 2-year-old.
“It was amazing,” Beth said. “I didn’t know people still do that anymore.”
Littrell kept the USO center open until midnight, when she contacted airport security to help the family their gate for departure.
“When I got home my husband couldn’t believe it when I told him what happened,” Beth said. “He saw the photo it was one of the rare times I’ve seen him cry. He typically doesn’t share something like this on social media, but It really touched him that someone would take so much time out to care for his family.”
“There’s no training orientation or anything like that in the world which teaches people to do stuff like this,” USO Cincinnati Volunteer Coordinator Kathy Williams about Littrell’s compassionate actions that night. “It’s instinct.”