Delta Airlines issued a public apology after a report that a flight crew humiliated a Marine double amputee flying home sparked public outrage.
"We have the utmost respect and admiration for our active duty military and veterans who make tremendous sacrifices to protect and sustain the freedoms we enjoy every day; and our Delta team is typically very good at showing their respect through various means of recognition. Unfortunately, we failed in this situation," said a statement by Allison Ausband, Delta Airlines' customer care vice president.
The statement said an internal review was underway to understand what occurred and in order to take appropriate action.
According to a report by The Washington Post, Marine Lance Cpl. Christian Brown, who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan last year, boarded a Delta flight going from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., on Sunday, and was squeezed into a narrow aviation wheelchair that clumsily hit seats as he was being wheeled to the back of the plane.
Several veterans in first class offered to give their seats to the 29-year-old Marine but were rebuffed by airline crew and told the plane had to leave, according to retired Army Col. Nickey Knighton, who was on the flight and filed a complaint.
"[He] was obviously humiliated by being paraded through the aircraft and was visibly upset," Col. Knighton told The Post.
"I touched Brown on his shoulder and asked if he was OK. Tears ran down his face, but he did not cry out loud," Col. Knighton wrote.
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Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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