The father of a soldier who was killed last weekend in Afghanistan was disappointed and hurt after airline passengers booed him and his family as they flew to meet his son’s remains.
Army Sgt. John Perry died on Nov. 12 of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device in Bagram, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Sgt. Perry, 30, left a wife and two small children.
Stewart Perry said he, his wife, Kathy, and daughter were flying on an American Airlines flight from Sacramento on Monday to Philadelphia, with a quick transfer in Phoenix. From Philadelphia, they traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive his son’s remains.
For unknown reasons, Perry said, the flight to Phoenix was 45 minutes late. The crew feared the delay might cause the Perrys miss their connecting flight.
So, when the plane landed in Phoenix, the captain made an announcement for all passengers to remain seated and to let a “special military family” exit the aircraft first, Perry said.
Several passengers in first class began to boo and complain, Perry said.
“Some people were saying ‘This is just baloney,’ and ‘I paid for first-class for this?’ “
Dear Entitled First Class Whiners: When you hear “special military family” on board, you sit or stand and say “thank you.” It doesn’t matter what you “paid,” because what you paid has no meaning to any family of any member of the military who has paid the ultimate price.
Sgt. Perry’s father said: “He made a decision that saved a lot of people. . . I was told that he was found protecting a female soldier. … He didn’t get to live a full life, but he lived.”
The behavior of those revolting people on the plane was despicable. No tweet yet from the next Commander in Chief, of course.