- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 1, 2015

A North Texas military veteran was so upset when she spotted a flag-draped coffin left unattended in the back of hearse in a Wal-Mart parking lot, she waited for the driver to return so she could confront him and filmed the conversation on her phone.

“Excuse me, sir, is that a casket?” the veteran, Tiffany Gallaway, asked the hearse driver, a local CBS affiliate reported.

The driver, who is employed by North Dallas Funeral Home, laughed and said yes. 

Ms. Gallaway asked the driver why he had stopped at Wal-Mart while he was transporting the casket. 

“Well, because they dropped this thing on me and said I needed to get it, and I said, ‘Hey we’re loaded’ but I didn’t like the idea either,” responded the driver, who said he had gone to Wal-Mart to purchase ice and water bottles. 

“This has got to be the most disrespectful thing I have ever seen in my life. I just want you to know that,” Ms. Gallaway said. “This is absolutely horrible. That man died serving our country and you’re putting ice in a cooler.

“I’m a veteran, and I would hope to God that when I pass that they would have a little more respect for me,” Ms. Gallaway said. 

The driver joked, “You mean you wouldn’t want to go shopping in Wal-Mart?”

The funeral home said the driver was not authorized to make the stop and apologized in a statement to the CBS affiliate. 

“The employee failed to follow our company policy regarding transporting between funeral facilities,” the statement read. 

It was not made clear in the recording whose remains were being transported, but the driver confirmed it was someone who served in the military or was a police officer or firefighter, CBS reported. 

“Who cares if you served? Who cares if you died? It doesn’t seem to matter anymore,” Ms. Gallaway told CBS.

This is the third time in five months that an unattended hearse carrying a flag-draped casket has been spotted parked outside a business. 

In May, a photo emerged of an unattended hearse carrying Lt. Col. Jesse Coleman outside a Dunkin’ Donuts in Lecanto, Florida. 

In June, diners at a Hardee’s restaurant in Virginia Beach, Virginia, spotted retired Air Force Master Sgt. Bobby Hill’s remains in an unattended hearse.

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