A fallen soldier flies home





Photos courtesy of Christopher Bailey


  1. Check out the movie Taking Chance with Kevin Bacon. It’s about a solider who flies the remains of a fallen solider home.

    • Awesome movie….. mad me cry….. I honestly had no idea….. but definitely makes me proud to be an American!!!

  2. Heather, I saw images like that in the movie TAKING CHANCE while it pains me to see these images it is comforting to know that the airlines, and the people that make them what they truly are, do really act in this manner. My sincere thanks and conodolences go out to all of those families and my heartfelt thanks to all those flight crews, gate agents, ramp agents and ariline executives that bring our fighting men and women home with the honor they deserve. Thanks for posting….

  3. I too have had fallen solders on my flights. My most memorable was when the officer bringing the soldier home boarded carrying the soldier’s ashes. The body had to be cremated as it was blown up by bombers. He flew home to California in the cockpit. I upgraded his escort to first class.

  4. *Weeping.* News story tonight on NBC was about two best friends, who died 3 years apart on separate battlefields, and were buried, side by side today. The sacrifice for our country is immense. We too easily forget or set it aside. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Esquire has a very good article at http://www.esquire.com/features/things-that-carried-him that is a moving tribute and narrates the background and the mechanisms that are mobilized, and the people who are involved in returning a deceased service member back to home.

    The piece is a wonderful counterpart and tells the complement story to Lt. Col. Strobl’s “Taking Private Phelps Home” article, on which the Taking Chance movie is based.

  6. Thank goodness this can be shown to the American people as it should. When Bush was president, it wasn’t allowed but now it is. Yeah! Bring them home in honor and let their fellow Americans remember their sacrifices, not brought home in the middle of the night in secrey like it used to be done.

    • I had the honor of meeting the widow of TSGT Phillip Myers at DIA a few months ago. TSGT Myers was the first fallen soldier whose casket was shown to the public after President Obama lifted the Bush ban on showing the fallen soldiers.

      I, too, recommend everyone see Taking Chance.

      Thank you to our veterans.


      In honor of TSGT Phillip A Myers, USAF, KIA April 4, 2009.

  7. Heather, I’ve been the one on the other end escorting my Sailor’s body home in Full Dress Uniform. It was one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do in my life. Then facing the family, it was incredibly hard not to loose it in front of them, trying to be strong for them, remembering, it was they who lost a loved one.

    It was also moving that when we had to transfer the body off the plane, at every airport, we received an Honor Guard and a Police Escort, it was incredibly moving and humbling.

    Even when we pulled up to the gate, the Captain would make an announcement, acknowledging this Sailors ulitmate sacrifice, and then the entire plane applauded as to show this Fallen Sailor their appreciation for his sacrifice.

    Something that I’ll never forget.

    So if you see an American Service Member at the airport, take a second to thank them. You probably don’t realize it, but you just made their day.

  8. This is incredibly moving and I am choked to tears. Thank you for making this post – a lot of people probably never think about the technicalities of bringing home a fallen soldier.

  9. Hi, God Bless our troops. So very sad but very honorable for the Fallin. I pray for safe return of all military men and women. God Bless the airlines showing their respect for the military.

  10. Thanks to the “Ramp Rats” our fallen never travel alone. I’m proud of those men and women who take a moment out of their busy day to offer their respects. I’m sure that management considers it a waste of time, and to heck with them. The practice will continue.

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