Pilot Learns Fallen Soldier’s In Plane’s Cargo & Family’s Onboard, Honors Him In Touching Manner
A fallen soldier definitely deserves a lot of respect, and one airline pilot made sure that’s what one soldier received on his last flight.
Captain Richard Rodriguez was ready to take off when a flight attendant let him know that the remains of a human body were onboard. It just happened to be a fallen soldier.
The pilot asked the flight attendant to locate the fallen soldier’s escort and send him to the cockpit.
After a brief conversation with the escort, the pilot took off. A short time later, the flight attendant let the pilot know that the soldier’s family was also on the flight. The pilot posted about the flight, saying:
“I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is also on board,” she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left. We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia.
The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane.”
Rodriguez wanted to do something nice for the family.
He called the dispatcher and made some arrangements to help the family once they landed. He knew that the family would be waiting outside the cargo doors for the soldier’s body to be brought out.
After landing the plane, he made an announcement:
“Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking: I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.”
Not only did every person on the flight wait for the family to get their things and exit the plane first, they all clapped as they walked through the aisle. Some offered well wishes and prayers, as well.
Rodriguez finished his post with a powerful message:
“Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier. I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA.”
his is definitely something that this soldier’s family will never forget, and hopefully, it helped them deal with the loss of their family member.
The other passengers will also likely never forget how the captain went out of his way to make sure that this solder was treated with the utmost respect on that flight. Soldiers sacrifice so much for this country, and when someone goes out of their way to show their appreciation, it’s inspiring. Hopefully, more people will do things like this in the future.
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GOD BLESS YOU!