Letter: Character, compassion and respect

I received the following as an e-mail awhile back. After verifying it and learning that this is consistent behavior for Chip, I sent it to several on my e-mail list and thought I’d share it here.

E-mail sent from a friend:

“The end of June, our son flew to Washington, D.C. on business. He boarded the plane on Sunday afternoon. As he passed through the First Class Section, he saw Keith Ellison, U.S. Representative from the St. Louis Park area sitting in first class. Our son returned that same week on Thursday.  Sitting two rows behind him in coach was Chip Cravaack, our 8th District U.S. Representative. This past Saturday, at the Pine City parade, I told Chip about our son’s observations on the plane a few weeks back. I then added that I assumed because Congressman Ellison flies often and was flying on Sunday, the airline probably bumped him to first class without extra charge. Chip smiled and said, I, too, am offered a free upgrade to first class often, but I never take it. I asked him why he doesn’t take it. He said, on almost every flight there is a soldier or someone from the military. I give my upgraded seat to them and I take their seat, which he said is usually a middle row seat.

Wow, what character!”

Karen Kutney, Cambridge