The father of a soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan last week said his family was booed by the first class passengers on the flight that brought his son’s body home to California.
U.S. Army Sgt. John W. Perry of Stockton, California, was killed on Saturday in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber who was targeting a Veteran’s Day fun run on the base. His father, Stewart Perry told KOVR-TV his son stopped the suicide bomber short of his target and may have saved hundreds of lives.
Perry told the Army Times the booing took place on an American Airlines flight that landed in Phoenix Monday. Perry and his family were flying from Sacramento to Dover Air Force Base.
The captain told everyone to remain seated to let the Perry family leave first to make their connection.
“When he made that announcement, there was some hissing and some booiing behind us,” Perry told the Army Times.
Perry, a Marine veteran, doesn’t remember the captain telling everyone the reason they had to stay seated. He recalled the captain mentioned “military personnel.”
But he said he believes the passengers knew there was a Gold Star family on board. “The woman sitting directly behind us touched me on the shoulder and asked if I was the father of the soldier killed in Afghanistan,” he told the Army Times.
“To hear the reaction was really upsetting, and it made us cry some more,” Stewart Perry said. “It was just disgusting behavior from people in first class. It was terrible to see.”
Sgt. Perry will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.