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Marine double-amputee’s treatment on Delta flight angers other vets


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At first I thought this was a scam story - verified that it is being reported - even Huffy has it

 

 

Marine double-amputee’s treatment on Delta flight angers other vets

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2012/12/13/marine-double-amputee-gets-help-from-fellow-vets-angered-by-delta-airlines-treatment/

 

 

  • BY ANNIE GROER
  •  
  •   December 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm
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Cpl. Christian Brown, in Afghanistan before he was injured (via Facebook)

On Dec. 13, 2011, 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.

Last Sunday, almost exactly a year since those grievous injuries forced him to learn to walk on two successive pairs of prosthetic legs, 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. 

 Knighton, a former helicopter pilot with nearly 30 years of service, who turned out to be seated in the same back row as Brown, assumed that because he boarded last, he would be seated up front for comfort and ease of exit in case of emergency. Instead, she wrote in a complaint obtained by “She The People,” he was squeezed into a narrow aviation wheelchair that “bumped up against stationary aisle seats as he was wheeled through the aircraft. [He] was obviously humiliated by being paraded through the aircraft and was visibly upset. I touched Brown on his shoulders and asked if he was okay. Tears ran down his face, but he did not cry out loud.”

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Cpl. Christian Brown in physical therapy, after losing his legs in Afghanistan (via Facebook)

What Knighton did not tell Delta, perhaps because she did not know, was that Brown, 29, was also very ill with a high fever. He was returning, via Atlanta, from a hunting trip in Alabama for injured service members to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.  Injured on his second deployment to Afghanistan after joining the Marines in April, 2009, Brown has spent nearly a year at the complex outside Washington, D.C.  

After six months in the hospital, including a period when he was in a coma, Brown moved into a two-bedroom apartment on the medical campus that he shares with his mother, Lyn Braden-Reed. He undergoes daily physical therapy to adjust to his new legs, she said. Friends and family follow his progress via Facebook posts and photos.   

Brown, a strapping six-footer when he enlisted, was flying back to Washington with a military “escort buddy,” but his mother told me that had she been with her son, “it would have turned out a little bit differently. I just can’t imagine what it was like for him, being that sick. He had a 104-degree fever and he was shaking. He was quite obviously sick.”

Brown and his mother, who live 25 miles north of Memphis in the town of Munford, declined to offer specifics about what he actually experienced on the plane.

But while Knighton’s complaint reflects controlled rage, retired Army Lt. Col. Keith Gafford, also on the flight, held nothing back during a phone interview.

“I have been flying with Delta for a gazillion years and this crew treated Chris worse than you’d treat any thing, not even any body. I did 27 years in the military. I have seen a lot of things and have seen a lot of guys die, but I have never seen a Marine cry,” said Gafford, who served two tours in Iraq. “What the kid said was, ‘I have given everything that I can give and this is the way I am being treated? This is how I will be treated for the rest of my life?’” 

In fact, Gafford added, two first-class passengers offered to switch seats with Brown, “but the flight attendant said we have to go. How many times have we sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes? You could close the door and still make an adjustment.”  The Texas native blasted the crew for being “hard as woodpecker lips.”

Knighton said time was hardly the issue since the plane took off five minutes ahead of schedule and arrived at Washington Reagan National Airport a quarter hour early.  She also said crew members refused to divulge their names or discuss the situation, although one attendant suggested she speak to the captain upon landing. By the time she reached the cockpit, the captain had vanished. The first officer declined to engage in conversation, and urged her to contact customer service.   

Michael R. Thomas of Delta’s corporate communications office in Atlanta offered this emailed statement regarding Knighton’s letter:

“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.”

 Asked to list possible next steps–reprimands, fines, suspension, termination–or estimate how long the probe might last, Thomas sent a second email: “As previously stated, we are actively looking into the incident and have no additional details to share at this time.”

What Knighton, a longtime Delta flyer, seeks is simple. “I don’t want another wounded warrior, a veteran, or anyone with any type of disability to be handled in this fashion.  It was just senseless to me to the point of, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’”

This is not the airline’s first snafu involving military personnel. In June 2011, Delta ignited a national firestorm when two soldiers posted a YouTube video about their experience catching a connecting flight from Baltimore to Atlanta after an 18-hour layover from Afghanistan. Several in the group of more than 30 people were charged $200 each to check a fourth bag. Under public and Congressional pressure, Delta soon announced it would allow military personnel and dependents to check extra bags for free.


This time, the solution may be comprehensive sensitivity training for crew members.

Meanwhile, the Marine–who learned of his promotion to corporal while recovering in the hospital here–can’t wait to return home for good next week with his mother.  Between his graduation from Munford High, where he played baseball, and his enlistment, Brown studied for the ministry at a non-demoninational seminary in Pensacola, Fla. But by 2009, “he felt a different calling. God wanted him to go in the military,” said Braden-Reed.

Brown is uncertain about his long-range plans, but is exploring the possibility of shifting gears yet again, this time to the classroom as a Marine Corps instructor.  He may also want to consider revisiting his earlier calling to the ministry, or become a motivational speaker who turned a personal ordeal into the ultimate teachable moment.

But first there is the near term back home.

“I want to go hunting with my dad and enjoy some good holiday food,” he told me. He’ll also continue rigorous physical therapy.

And does he think he’ll ever fly Delta again?

“Hell, no.”

 

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I posted this article about Delta over a year ago and was basically told by other members that--------it didn't happen and the article was BS

 

Delta Airlines Forces Disabled Passenger to Crawl off Plane

 

A former college professor who cannot walk has sued Delta Airlines in federal court, claiming that crew members on two flights told him the only way he could get off the plane was to crawl down the aisle, down the steps and across the tarmac.

- See more at: http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/delta-airlines-forces-disabled-passenger-to-crawl-off-plane/#sthash.8QQaW5kK.dpuf

Edited by KID
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Canuck Joe

I get that he could not be transferred to the offered first class seat during take off...but how was he mistreated exactly?

 

edit:

Kids post says it all!

Edited by Canuck Joe
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I hope they fired every employee on that flight, who had anything to do with this, and black listed them from the commercial airline industry. 

 

If they didn't, every American citizen should boycott the airline until they do.

Edited by Paul
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Kids post says it all!

 

Different incident canuck

 

Delta has at least 1 more incident involving veterans that I know of involving mistreatment on flights

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Kidd,

 

Thanks - as I said in my opening line when I have any doubt about a story I do try to verify it.

 

Figured Washing Post,  NY Daily News, had better research abilities than I do.

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CardiacKid

During the Viet Nam war, when they still had military standby fares as a concession to the low pay servicemen got at that time, I was on a Delta flight. It was a meal flight and two flight attendants were arguing loudly in the aisle. The subject? Whether or not they had to serve meals to the military standby passengers. Haven't flown Delta since. 

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SkyMan

 

 

And does he think he’ll ever fly Delta again? “Hell, no.”
Dito!
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Davaoeno
Instead, she wrote in a complaint obtained by “She The People,” he was squeezed into a narrow aviation wheelchair that “bumped up against stationary aisle seats as he was wheeled through the aircraft. [He] was obviously humiliated by being paraded through the aircraft

 

If this is all that happened I dont see any outrageous conduct.  We all have to go down the aisle banging against aisle seats and people hanging out of them, and anyone seated in the back has to go past the other passengers. Using the term"paraded" is just designed to cause people to agree with the writers positon on the matter 

They used a narrow aviation wheelchair ???? what were they supposed to do - carry him bodily down the aisle ? or use a normal wheelchair ?  both those suggestions are of course ridiculous .  They used the appropriate equipment

 

 

Hey I get it that he is a vet, but really, i dont see what is so outrageous here.  [ of course making someone crawl down the aisle is obviously outrageous]

 

There might very well have been something unacceptable done here, but I dont see what just from reading the article.  Maybe  one hysterical passenger got everyone else riled up for no good reason.?? herd mentality is strong 

Edited by Davaoeno
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i read complaints about companies (walmart, mcdonalds, delta etc) all the time on this site and many other places.

 

these companies strive on profits and they need the masses to make these profits. most companies are aware of social media and know that the least little incident will be blasted over the net for millions to see and scrutinize. although not all are always true, most concerned customers will fact check if they believe it to be sensationalized.

 

back in the 70's us automakers had to change to keep up with Datson & Toyota (hi beam control on the column instead of the floor, smaller more fuel efficient cars)

 

these companies will change their ways or be out of business, either way I am satisfied by simply boycotting their services.

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I place my hand on your back and apply pressure. That is a fact 

 

Is it  a pat,  a push or a shove? That is interpretation. Without visual evidence must rely on those who were there and past history

 

"Davaoeno  Maybe  one hysterical passenger got everyone else riled up for no good reason.?? herd mentality is strong

Army Col. Nickey Knighton

Army Lt. Col. Keith Gafford, also on the flight - would hazard a guess these people are notprone to herd mentality.

 

This is not the airline’s first snafu involving military personnel. In June 2011, Delta ignited a national firestorm when two soldiers posted a YouTube video about their experience catching a connecting flight from Baltimore to Atlanta after an 18-hour layover from Afghanistan. Several in the group of more than 30 people were charged $200 each to check a fourth bag. Under public and Congressional pressure, Delta soon announced it would allow military personnel and dependents to check extra bags for free.


 

In fact, Gafford added, two first-class passengers offered to switch seats with Brown, “but the flight attendant said we have to go. How many times have we sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes? You could close the door and still make an adjustment.”  The Texas native blasted the crew for being “hard as woodpecker lips.”

Knighton said time was hardly the issue since the plane took off five minutes ahead of schedule and arrived at Washington Reagan National Airport a quarter hour early.  She also said crew members refused to divulge their names or discuss the situation, although one attendant suggested she speak to the captain upon landing. By the time she reached the cockpit, the captain had vanished. The first officer declined to engage in conversation, and urged her to contact customer service.   

Edited by lamoe
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thebob

Several in the group of more than 30 people were charged $200 each to check a fourth bag.

 

 

I don't understand the problem with charging passengers for extra luggage.

 

In the OP, the guy was sick and running a fever. He recently had been discharged after multiple amputations. To be honest I imagine he was going to be very difficult to please.

 

Most planes have a section at the rear, where the seats can be reconfigured for moving patients. It is common for this area to be used for seating invalids because then they will not be disturbed by other passengers.

 

Aviation wheelchairs are used because they fit down the aisles. Reseating the guy can be very difficult once the plane has begun to taxi, which I imagine was the case.

 

I feel sorry for the guy, but I don't really understand what his complaint was.

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I find it interesting how America in general though has a lot of respect for its ex military personnel and outrage when injured ex-service guys are treated badly. I'd say most countries in the world don't have the same amount of compassion for its ex-military, particularly in the UK.

 

 I find it hard to fully sympathise with people who make a choice to join the military, but I do feel that they should be treated humanely and given the treatment and financial assistance from the military to live a normal life as possible after being injured.

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Majorsco

 

I find it hard to fully sympathise with people who make a choice to join the military,.

Who would you sympathies with more? Those terrorists bombing the marathon? Those terrorists flying planes into towers of innocent people? Those world powers if the past like nazi Germany or Japan who sought world domination and killed millions?

 

Who provides the civilian populace with freedom and security?

 

It's those men and women who volunteer and serve in the military. They didn't volunteer to die or be injured, but they understood that was a possible outcome if providing that safety and security to others.

 

Each nation owes it to their military to take care if those who risked all in the service of their country.

 

Many who don't serve don't understand and even believe that the military, which ever country, don't deserve the thanks or support.

 

It's too bad those people are ungrateful for the gift given to those who take and don't give.

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find it interesting how America in general though has a lot of respect for its ex military personnel and outrage when injured ex-service guys are treated badly

 

 "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf

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