Montana rancher Curt Pate gives up first-class seat on flight to Desert Storm veteran
Livestock Handling Clinician Curt Pate, of Ryegate, Mont., has been getting nods and kind words around social media due to a small gesture he extended to an American veteran before a flight.
Daniel Dedman, who was wearing a shirt with the words “25th Anniversary of Desert Storm,” posted to social media April 28, “I was let on first due to disabilities and I was just preparing to sit down when the cowboy…approached me and told me to move up front (first class) and take his seat … he asked if I was in Desert Storm and after saying that I was, he insisted I take the seat in first class.”
Pate said it’s just the rancher in him that made him want to trade seats on the April 24 flight from Denver to San Antonio. He said he often gets embarrassed by sitting in first-class due to frequent upgrades and that he doesn’t wish to be considered a “snob.”
“With cattle handling, which is my job, I try to create proper pressure. I think that goes with if you get in the habit of dealing with cattle or people, you get used to doing that,” he said referring to offering more comfort to Dedman. “I could change the pressure on him without changing my pressure all that much.”
Dedman initially refused Pate’s offer since he had a seat at the end of a row and plenty of room for his injured leg, but it turned out that he was sitting in someone else’s seat anyway and would have been moved to a middle seat.
“It worked out well that way. He was kind of a big fellow that had a bad leg or something. He had a cane and was having a hard time getting around,” Pate said. “I don’t think it’s a big deal as everyone is making it. He didn’t even want it; he was worried about having plenty of leg room and had a seat picked out where he could stick his leg out. It ended up not being his seat he was trying to sit in, it was in a middle one.”
We should be kind to people, but “maybe veterans deserve it just a bit more,” Pate said. “That’s just what cowpeople do. We are always watching who or what needs help and how to help. Just give what you can to help.”
Dedman’s post received many comments, but one in particular stood out to Pate: a man who didn’t have the best grammar and couldn’t quite type properly, but his message came through loud and clear.
“I just want you to know I appreciate what you do and I’d like to shake your hand. You’re just a real good cowboy,” the man sent to Pate, who said, “That was the biggest compliment anybody could give me. Cowboy is pretty important to all of us, we’re thought of as rough and tough, but most of the cowboys I know would save a kitten and help a veteran.” F