By McKinley Corbley
One man’s compulsion to clean out his closet has resulted in a heartwarming story of patriotic kindness between two strangers.
Upon assessing his necktie collection, retired CIA agent Marc Johnson decided to sell an old red, white, and blue-colored necktie that he had kept specifically for 4th of July celebrations.
The 49-year-old from Ashburn, Virginia put the patriotic necktie up for auction on eBay for just $6.99.
“So he pays me and I go to ship it and discover a couple of spots on it I didn’t notice before!” Johnson recalled on Twitter. “So I ‘fess up to the winning bidder and tell him I’ll give him a discount if he still wants the tie.
Campher immediately writes back and asks Johnson if it seems the spots might come out with some dry-cleaning. He then goes on to explain that he is eager to get the tie because he plans on wearing it during his swearing-in ceremony as an American citizen.
“I thought about it for a second and just decided to send him the tie gratis and cancel the auction,” writes Johnson. “I sent him a note telling him not to be alarmed that I canceled the auction; I wanted him to have the tie with my congratulations on becoming a citizen.
Upon reading the message of kindness from states away, Campher became teary-eyed with gratitude.
“I cannot explain how I feel about [it],” he told The Washington Post. “It is a warm feeling.”
Campher, who was raised by his grandparents in South Africa, says that he was finally granted American citizenship five years after marrying his wife in his home country. Though she was able to acquire South African citizenship following their marriage, the couple ended up living in a variety of countries as they waited for Campher to be granted legal status in the US.
As a means of showing his gratitude for Johnson’s present, Campher sent a picture of himself wearing the American-made necktie at his swearing-in ceremony – and Johnson was equally as touched.
He posted the photo of Campher to Twitter along with the story of its significance. It has since been shared by thousands of people, all of whom are equally as touched by the exchange – and Johnson feels that it is testament to the compassionate attitudes of Americans.
“It’s a thing that reminds us people can be kind to each other, and this is who we are,” Johnson told The Post. “With very few exceptions, everybody in this country is an immigrant in one way or another by ancestry if nothing else.”