Gold Star family of slain California soldier booed on flight

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STOCKTON, Calif.  — The father of a California soldier recently killed in Afghanistan said he felt disrespected and hurt by passengers who booed him and his family when they were on a flight to meet his son’s remains.

Stewart Perry tells the Stockton Record he and his wife and daughter were flying on an American Airlines flight from Sacramento to Philadelphia with a transfer in Phoenix to receive the remains of his son, Sgt. John Perry, of Stockton.

He said the flight to Phoenix was 45 minutes late and the crew, fearing the Perrys could miss their connecting flight, made an announcement for passengers to remain seated to let a “special military family” deplane first.

Perry said several passengers in first class booed, complaining that it was “baloney” and that they paid first-class fares.

Perry’s son died after an improvised explosive device attack Nov. 12 inside Bagram Airfield.