Dr. John Stevens, chancellor emeritus and former president of Abilene Christian University, will fly to Columbia, S.C., Thursday for the dedication of the U.S. Army Chaplains Museum in Fort Jackson on Friday, thanks in part to his perseverance in holding on to an extra airline ticket.
Several years ago, Stevens said he purchased a package of airline tickets valid anywhere in the U.S. at a special senior citizens' rate. He had used all the tickets in the package except one and for some time now had been wondering what to do with it.
"I just don't travel as much as I used to," Stevens explained. "I had a chance to use it for a conference in Dallas, but I really didn't want to use it just to go to Dallas."
Fortunately, the organizers of the dedication ceremony for the U.S. Army Chaplains Museum had better plans for his last ticket.
Stevens, a U.S. Army chaplain during World War II, said in addition to receiving a letter about the dedication, he was contacted by phone on Monday and asked to attend, as they hoped to have as many World War II chaplains in attendance as possible.
In addition, museum officials hope to use a copy of the well-known World War II picture depicting Stevens leading troops in a victory parade down the Champs Elysees in Paris in the museum. Add in the fact that Stevens has a grandson and granddaughter-in-law in Columbia, and the decision was made.
Now, Stevens is able to put that last ticket to good use and participate in a ceremony honoring him and other Army chaplains throughout the years. Not a bad deal for a senior citizen discount.