Sgt. John W. Perry was one of two individuals killed in an explosion at a United States airbase on November 12th. Perry, 30, along with PFC. Tyler R. Iubelt died from injuries after an attack by an apparent suicide bomber at Bagram Airfield.
Stewart Perry, John’s father, along with wife, Kathy, and daughter were flying to Philadelphia where they were to travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive John’s remains. Departing from Sacramento, the family had a quick transfer in Phoenix. Afraid that the Perry family would miss their flight to Philadelphia after a 45 minute delay in Sacramento, the captain of the flight announced that all passengers should remain seated to let a “special military family” exit the aircraft first. The family then proceeded to receive boos and complaints for their preferential treatment.
“It was really disgusting on the passengers’ part,” Stewart said in an interview, “It was just disgusting behavior from people in first class; it was terrible to see.”
Of course, Mr. Perry had nothing negative to say about American Airlines, who had accommodated him and his family in the exchange. Perry said, “You could see the disappointment from the flight crew.”
Instances such as these are a product of the disconnect between the American public and the sacrifices of military families. We encourage individuals to be thankful of veterans and active duty and to take into consideration the burden they bear. A greater awareness of the military’s role is a positive step that will combat the negative consequences of a military disconnected from the national conscience.