The father of a soldier that was killed in Afghanistan said that his family was booed while on a flight to bring his son’s remains home from Afghanistan.
Stewart Perry, as well as his wife and daughter were on an American Airlines flight home last week from Sacramento to Philadelphia with a transfer at Phoenix to receive the remains of his son, Sgt. John Perry, of Stockton, when their flight was delayed.
Perry said that his flight to Phoenix was 45 minutes late and in fear that they may miss their connecting flight, the crew of the plane made an announcement that a “special military family” would deplane first.
Perry, who also happens to be an ex Marine told the Stockton Record that passengers then started to complain and boo at the family as they attempted to deplane.
“Some people were saying ‘This is just baloney,’ and ‘I paid for first-class for this?’ ”
Perry and his family made their connecting flight as the pilot in Phoenix stayed at the gate for 40 minutes to make sure they got on board.
Perry added that he wasn’t sure if the people on the plane were aware if his family was a Gold Star family or if there was a similar reaction to the announcement in the coach section of the plane.
“It was just disgusting behavior from people in first class; it was terrible to see,” Perry said. “You could see the disappointment from the flight crew.”
Perry’s son, Sgt. John Perry, was one of two U.S. Army soldiers killed when an improvised explosive device exploded on November 12 inside Bagram Airfield.
He and Pfc. Tyler R. Iubelt of Tamaroa, Illinois, died from their injuries after the attack from a suicide bomber around 5:30 am local time.
His son, who was a husband and father of two, died a hero, Steward Perry said.
“He made a decision that saved a lot of people,” he told the Stockton Record. “I was told that he was found protecting a female soldier. …He didn’t get to live a full life, but he lived.”