American Airlines passengers in the first class cabin booed loudly when it was announced the flight would be delayed so the remains of Sgt. John Perry could be met, according to the soldier’s grieving father. Perry, 30, was killed last Saturday when he stopped a suicide bomber from reaching his target at Bagram Airfield.
The suicide bomber Sergeant John Perry gave his life to thwart was reportedly trying to hit a soldiers’ 5K Veterans Day run to benefit disabled veterans. Stewart Perry, the Gold Star father, said his combat instructor son and the others who died at Bagram Airfield, are all heroes. The quick actions of the brave men may have saved the lives of more than 100 people, CBS News reports.
Sgt John Perry of Stockton CA & Pfc Tyler Lubelt of Tamaroa lll id US Soldiers killed by suicide bomber at Bagram Air Field Afghan on Sunday pic.twitter.com/ICHLa41Dl4
— I love my U.S.A (@WEdwarda) November 15, 2016
“To hear the reaction of the flight being delayed because of a Gold Star family and the first class cabin booing, that was really upsetting, and it made us cry some more,” Stewart Perry said.
The elder Perry is a Marine Corps veteran. He and his wife, Kathy, and daughter, Anita, were flying from California to Philadelphia with a transfer in Phoenix, on Monday. Once the plane landed in Philadelphia, the mourning family traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive their loved one’s remains.
The family’s flight to Phoenix was reportedly running 45 minutes late. The crew grew concerned the flight delay might cause the plane to miss both the scheduled connecting flight and the arrival of Sgt. Perry’s remains at Dover Air Force Base.
“Some people were saying ‘This is just baloney,’ and ‘I paid for first-class for this?’ It was just disgusting behavior from people in first class; it was terrible to see,” the grieving father added. “You could see the disappointment from the flight crew.”
The elder Perry noted American Airlines did absolutely everything they could to accommodate the needs of the distraught family.
Flag retirement ceremony for Sgt.John Perry of Stockton,Ca. killed by suicide bomb at Bagram Airfield, Afghan.Survived parents/sister Salute pic.twitter.com/PpMViTRaqH
— I love my U.S.A (@WEdwarda) November 18, 2016
The Perry family ultimately made the connecting flight to Phoenix. The awaiting pilot stayed at the gate an extra 40 minutes to ensure the Gold Star family got where it needed to go, KOVR reports.
Sgt. John Perry was deployed twice during Operation Enduring Freedom. Perry had been awarded a Purple Heart Medal, a Bronze Star, as well as multiple other awards and decorations for his service to America. He was reportedly assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas.
Pfc. Tyler Lubelt and two Army contractors were also killed as a result of the attack by the suicide bomber at Bagram Airfield last weekend.
The grieving father of Sgt. John Perry shared his thoughts about the actions of the American Airlines passengers during an interview with KOVR. The video was shared by the Daily Mail Online.
“He was loving and caring and he did care for me,” Sgt. Perry’s 8-year-old little sister, said during an interview with Fox40. “I only met him two times, then he left for Afghanistan and he never came back.”
The heroic soldier leaves behind his wife of eight years, Julianne. The couple met in elementary school and then reconnected and fell in love before Perry joined the Army. They had two young children, Lena, 5, and 4-year-old Gavin.
Sergeant John Perry will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. A memorial service will be held in the sergeant’s honor in their hometown prior to the soldier being laid to rest.
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