Amputee Vet 'Humiliated' on Delta Flight
A Marine, a double amputee, on a Delta Airlines flight earlier this month was reportedly treated poorly and humiliated by airline staff.
Marine Lance Cpl. Christian Brown was on Delta flight 504 from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. Army Col. Nickey Knighton, a fellow passenger and veteran, sent a complaint to Delta Airlines about Brown's treatment. The complaint was obtained by the Washington Post.
The Post reports that Brown was "clumsily wheeled to the back row of the plane" and "humiliated to the point of tears." Although fellow passengers in first class attempted to give up their seats in exchange for Brown's seat in the last row of economy class, airline staff would not allow it because it was time for the plane to take off.
Another passenger, retired Army Lt. Col. Keith Gafford, told the Post, "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." 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?'"
Brown also became sick during the flight, which may have added to his frustration.
In an emailed statement to ABC News, airline spokesman Michael Thomas said, "This story in no way reflects how Delta treats customers or the high regard we hold for our nation's service members. We are actively investigating and have reached out to this customer and his family. We're sorry for the difficulties that transpired."
According to the Post, Brown was leading his squad on a foot patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand province on Dec. 13, 2011, 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.
Today, Brown lives in an apartment on the campus of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He undergoes daily physical therapy to adjust to his prosthetic legs.