Family of slain US soldier booed on airplane as they flew to meet his body

PHOENIX, AZd – The father of a soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan says that his family was booed on an airplane.

Stewart Perry, father of Sergeant John Perry, who died at Bagram Air Force Base on November 12, says that his family was booed on the flight they took to bring his son’s body home from Dover Air Force Base. Three others, one soldier and two civilian contractors, also died in the blast.

Perry told Army Times that their American Airlines flight from Sacramento was delayed for about 45 minutes on its way to Phoenix. When the plane finally arrived in Phoenix, the family had to hurry to make their connection. The captain asked for everyone else to remain seated to allow them to leave first in order to make their next flight.

“When he made that announcement, there was some hissing and some booing behind us,” said Perry.

Perry can’t remember if the captain told everyone specifically why they had to wait, but he does recall the words “military personnel” being used.

“I believe that the passengers knew there was a Gold Star family on board,” he said. “The woman sitting directly behind us touched me on the shoulder and asked if I was the father of the soldier killed in Afghanistan.”

Perry said his son’s death also underscores why the American flag is sacred for service members, not just a symbol for protest.

“It’s just enough to put you over the edge.”