Nearly 60 Veterans Deboard Plane In Solidarity With One Who Couldn’t Fly
News 6 - May 24, 2022 7:11 am
TULSA, Oklahoma –
A group of Oklahoma veterans took a dream trip to Washington DC last week but it ended with a nightmare flying experience after getting stuck at the Charlotte airport for 10 hours.
It was supposed to be a simple trip back home, heading back to Tulsa after a four day trip to DC.
The final leg of the journey was a rough experience for the vets, but also a powerful show of solidarity.
One of the veterans needs oxygen – but on the final flight home from Charlotte after a long delay – his oxygen concentrator ran out of batteries and couldn’t charge with the plane’s outlets.
The group’s leaders said they were told the machine would work on the plane’s power, but the airline said it’s policy states without extra batteries and no way to charge – they couldn’t let that man fly.
One of the leaders of the group, Wayne Perego, said the decision to deboard – wasn’t made lightly – but these men and women made a promise. No soldier left behind.
“We just decided that you know what, we are going to go off the plane also, if he’s going off, if they’re gonna take him off, the whole bunch was gonna go off,” he said.
The group stayed in the airport until nearly 5:00 a.m. sleeping wherever they could while the airline booked hotels and taxis.
Sunday morning – with pizza ordered by the American Legion in Pryor – morale was high, and prayers were answered.
American Airlines delivered extra batteries flown in from Norfolk, Virginia – and took everyone back to the airport and onto a chartered flight – just for the veterans.
Saying everyone was excited is an understatement.
When the plane touched down – the group was greeted by a crowd of supporters – happy to see their vets come home.