A former airman’s posting is going viral after the video he shared to Facebook June 6 shows airline passengers disrespecting a fallen active-duty airman.
In what appears to be his final flight in a coffin draped with an American flag, Staff Sgt. Andre Taylor’s remains are seen being removed by an Honor Guard detail from the cargo hold of a Delta flight.
Rolling video in disbelief, Ken Fitzgerald, a former KC-135 boom operator, writes of his disappointment in people after passengers disregarded aircrew instructions to remain seated while Taylor’s remains were being removed from the aircraft.
Fitzgerald writes, “After FOUR announcements for folks to remain seated until our fallen Airman was escorted off first and his family breaking down just outside the window, EVERY INDIVIDUAL except the flight crew and a few of us nonrevs paid our respects. Seriously people?”
Fitzgerald said during a phone interview passengers on the Delta flight from Phoenix to Detroit were well aware of Taylor’s remains were on board.
“Before we loaded in Phoenix, people were watching from the terminal as Staff Sgt. Taylor’s remains were loaded into the aircraft,” he said. “Then, on descent, two requests were made for passengers to remain seated, then two more announcements were made again on the tarmac. The really sad thing … we arrived to Michigan early, and people still rushed to get off the plane — really sad,” Fitzgerald told Popular Military.
According to Taylor’s obituary, Taylor age 28, passed away June 24. Andre was born in Lansing May 24, 1989, the son of Timothy Taylor and Lenora (Michael) Cauther. He was a proud serviceman for the past 10 years with the U. S. Air Force, serving at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix. Andre was preceded in death by his father, Timothy. Surviving are his children, Adrianna and Ayden; mother, Lenora Cauther; father, Michael Cauther; sisters, April (John Jones) Cullimore, Tiffany (Benjamin) Dobson, Alicia (Vanderver Howard) Taylor and Montoya (Michael Vang) Taylor; 10 nieces and nephews and many friends also survive. A private family service was held.
Those wishing to make memorial contributions in Taylor’s name can donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. Popular Military made an inquiry to Luke Air Force base to determine Taylor’s cause of death but has yet to hear back from Taylor’s unit.
Rest In Peace Staff Sgt. Andre Taylor