Gold Star fam­ily of slain sol­dier booed on flight

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The fa­ther of a Cal­i­for­nia sol­dier re­cently killed in Afghanistan says he felt dis­re­spected and hurt by pas­sen­gers who booed him and his fam­ily when they were on a flight to meet his son’s re­mains.

Ste­wart Perry, his wife and daugh­ter were on an Amer­i­can Air­lines flight Mon­day from Sacramento to Philadel­phia with a trans­fer in Phoenix to re­ceive the re­mains of his son, Sgt. John Perry, of Stock­ton, when the flight was de­layed, the Stock­ton Record re­ported Satur­day.

Perry, an ex-Marine who lives in Stock­ton, said the flight to Phoenix was 45 min­utes late and the crew, fear­ing the Gold Star fam­ily could miss their con­nect­ing flight, made an an­nounce­ment for pas­sen­gers to re­main seated to let a “spe­cial mil­i­tary fam­ily” de­plane first.

Perry said sev­eral pas­sen­gers in first class booed, com­plain­ing that it was “baloney” and that they paid first-class fares. He said he doesn’t know if the pas­sen­gers from Sacramento knew there was a Gold Star fam­ily on board or whether peo­ple sit­ting in the coach sec­tion com­plained. “It was just dis­gust­ing be­hav­ior from peo­ple in first class; it was ter­ri­ble to see,” Perry said.

Perry, 30, and an­other Amer­i­can sol­dier died of in­juries in­flicted by an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice Nov. 12 in­side Ba­gram Air­field. The hus­band and fa­ther of two young chil­dren died a hero, his fa­ther said. “He made a de­ci­sion that saved a lot of peo­ple,” he said. “I was told that he was found pro­tect­ing a fe­male sol­dier. . He didn’t get to live a full life, but he lived.”—AP

TEXAS: This un­dated file photo pro­vided by the Fort Hood, Texas Press Cen­ter shows US Army Sgt John W Perry of Stock­ton, Cal­i­for­nia.—AP

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