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Airline Passengers Boo Family Of Soldier Killed In Recent Bagram Bombing
The father of a soldier who was killed last weekend in Afghanistan was disappointed and hurt after airline passengers booed him and his family as they flew to meet his son’s remains.
Stewart Perry, an ex-Marine who lives in Stockton, said the ordeal left him feeling disrespected.
“It was really disgusting on the passengers’ part,” he said Friday.
His son, Sgt. John Perry, was one of two killed in an explosion at a United States airbase on Nov. 12. He was honored at a memorial service in Lodi on Thursday and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
John Perry, 30, and Pfc. Tyler R. Iubelt of Tamaroa, Illinois, died from their injuries after the attack by an apparent suicide bomber at the Bagram Airfield at about 5:30 a.m. local time.
The Department of Defense said this week that the blast also took the lives of two U.S. contractors working on the base. Sixteen other U.S. service members and one Polish soldier participating in a NATO mission were wounded.
Perry was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He was at the base supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
An avid runner, he had been preparing to participate in a 5K run at the base in northeast Afghanistan as part of a post-Veterans Day activity to benefit disabled veterans.
Stewart Perry said he, his wife, Kathy, and daughter were flying on an American Airlines flight from Sacramento on Monday to Philadelphia, with a quick transfer in Phoenix. From Philadelphia, they traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive his son’s remains.
For unknown reasons, Perry said, the flight to Phoenix was 45 minutes late. The crew feared the delay might cause the Perrys miss their connecting flight.
So, when the plane landed in Phoenix, the captain made an announcement for all passengers to remain seated and to let a “special military family” exit the aircraft first, Perry said.
Several passengers in first class began to boo and complain, Perry said.
“Some people were saying ‘This is just baloney,’ and ‘I paid for first-class for this?’ ”
He said American Airlines “did everything they could” to accommodate his family.
Perry and his family made their connecting flight, and the pilot in Phoenix stayed at the gate for 40 minutes to make sure they made it on board.
Perry said he does not know if the passengers from Sacramento knew there was a Gold Star family on board, nor does he know if there was a similar reaction from people sitting in coach.
“It was just disgusting behavior from people in first class; it was terrible to see,” Perry said. “You could see the disappointment from the flight crew.”
The real focus, Perry said, should be on the heroics of his son. The husband and father of two young children died a hero.
“He made a decision that saved a lot of people,” Perry said. “I was told that he was found protecting a female soldier. … He didn’t get to live a full life, but he lived.”
© 2016 The Record (Stockton, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
'We are dropping like flies' — Former fighter pilots are pushing the Pentagon for earlier cancer screenings
WASHINGTON — Former Air Force and Navy fighter pilots are calling on the military to begin cancer screenings for aviators as young as 30 because of an increase in deaths from the disease that they suspect may be tied to radiation emitted in the cockpit.
"We are dropping like flies in our 50s from aggressive cancers," said retired Air Force Col. Eric Nelson, a former F-15E Strike Eagle weapons officer. He cited prostate and esophageal cancers, lymphoma, and glioblastomas that have struck fellow pilots he knew, commanded or flew with.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.
The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.
Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."
Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.