Our soldiers are some of the bravest men and women in the world.
They fight for freedom abroad so we can enjoy it at home. And in the process many of them suffer terribly for their sacrifices.
Quite a few of these soldiers come back to the United States and are then partnered with a service animal to make the transition back into civilian life.
One of these heroes is Jason Haag, a Marine veteran whose dog was recently by the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.
His dog Axel won “Service Dog of the Year.”
When he went to fly back home out of LAX something awful happened.
The Conservative Tribune writes:
Haag, his wife and Axel, his German Shepard service dog, grabbed a bite to eat and then checked in at the gate without issue. Everything was perfect until five minutes before the flight, when another agent at the gate turned their return trip home into a nightmare.
The gate agent for American Airlines called Haag to the counter and asked, “Is that a real service dog?”
After proving that Axel was a real service dog with at least two methods of identification, the agent still hassled the decorated Marine and eventually prevented them from boarding the flight.
Haag not only explained that he’d already checked Axel in days before, but that he’d flown on the airline recently with Axel, without issue. He also offered to have a representative from the K9s for Warriors foundation and the AHA verify Axel’s status.
“He’s like, ‘Well, what’s your disability?’ and I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ because that’s not a question you’re allowed to ask under the rules and regulations,” Haag said of the agent, who was breaking his employer’s own policy by ignoring Haag’s service dog ID card.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the American Airlines agent then insisted that the ID card and specialized service vest could be fake and that Haag could have bought them off of the Internet.
“At this point my wife was starting to cry,” Haag said. “There’s like 200 people standing there watching this whole thing while these people are embarrassing the holy hell out of me.”
The airline didn’t even offer to put them up in a hotel or make any other arrangements while the situation, which was straightforward, was figured out. Making matters worse, Haag’s luggage was already on the flight, so they were left without clean clothes.
Luckily, an AHA rep from the awards show was there and made sure the family had what they needed for the night, including shelter and clothes.
American Airlines eventually apologized to the family after it was all straightened out the next day.
But, anyone would agree that the actions of the agent who interrogated the former Marine — who has a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder after serving two tours in the Middle East — were absolutely unacceptable.
It’s hard to even figure out what exactly is appropriate to say in this situation.
How embarrassing for this Marine, to be called out and humiliated after such an amazing weekend.
One thing’s for sure, American Airlines might want to change their name to “Anti-American Airlines” if they’re going to let their employees treat our service members with such contempt.
It’s awful for anyone to be treated in such a manner.
What do you think of this story and even more, what should happen to the American Airlines employee?
Tell us in the comments below.