Blake Bakkila
November 20, 2016 02:21 PM

The father of a soldier who was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan last Saturday claimed that several people aboard his flight to bring his son’s body home complained about the family receiving special treatment.

Stewart Perry, along with his wife and daughter, were on their way to recover the remains of his son, Sgt. John Perry, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last week. On a delayed flight from Sacramento to a connecting flight in Phoenix, the captain made an announcement that the Gold Star family needed to deplane first, which was met with a lot of backlash from the family’s fellow passengers.

“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,” Perry told CBS.

According to the Army Times, Perry doesn’t remember the captain mentioning “military personnel” as he explained the reasoning behind the family getting off the plane first.

“I believe that the passengers knew there was a Gold Star family on board,” he told the Army Times. “The woman sitting directly behind us touched me on the shoulder and asked if I was the father of the soldier killed in Afghanistan … It was very disappointing. It’s just enough to put you over the edge.”
 He also told The Stockton Record that he overheard passengers making statements like, “‘This is just baloney,’ and ‘I paid for first-class for this?’ ”
Department of Defense/AP
Perry’s son was preparing for a Veterans Day 5K when he and one other soldier were killed in the explosion at the Bagram Airfield early Saturday morning, according to the Stockton Record. Pfc. Tyler Iubelt was also killed, along with two U.S. contractors working on the base. Sixteen other U.S. service members and one Polish soldier suffered injuries from the explosion.

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Now, Perry said he wants people to respect his son and the sacrifice he made, and called out President-elect Donald Trump for his comments about the Khan family.

“One example would be Donald Trump speaking badly about a Gold Star family, who I now am, but it also bothers me that people don’t want to talk about the terrorism that killed my kid,” he told CBS. “My kid was over there to help put a stop to this garbage, and he died.”




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