Is This Any Way to Treat a Marine Double-Amputee Afghanistan War Veteran? (Updated)
A Delta Airlines official conceded Friday that “we failed” Marine Cpl. Christian Brown, the double amputee prevented by a flight crew from taking a first-class seat offered by strangers after he was clumsily wheeled down the length of the plane to the last row in coach.
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Exactly one year ago, Marine Lance Cpl. Christian Brown was leading his squad on a foot patrol in Afghanistan’s Helmand province when he stepped on an explosive device that blew off both his legs, one above the knee, the other below his hip. He also lost part of his right index finger, according to the Stars and Stripes.
Last Sunday, according to the Stars and Stripes,
Brown was “humiliated” to the point of tears on a Delta flight from Atlanta to Washington after being clumsily wheeled to the back row of the plane, according to a complaint sent to the airline by an outraged fellow passenger.
Worse yet, according to retired Army Col. Nickey Knighton’s detailed “customer care” report to Delta, efforts by several fellow vets to shift Brown from coach to a first class seat offered by another flyer, were rebuffed by the crew. Flight attendants insisted no one could move through the cabin because the doors were being closed for takeoff, she wrote.
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Delta is investigating the incident and Michael R. Thomas of Delta’s corporate communications office in Atlanta offered this emailed statement regarding a letter written by Knighton, a former helicopter pilot with nearly 30 years of service:
The story in no way reflects either Delta’s standard operating procedure or the very high regard we hold for our nation’s service members. We are sorry for the difficulties that transpired and are investigating this event to determine the appropriate next steps.