Airport Staff Honors Fallen Soldier And His Dog (Video)

| by Michael Howard
Honor Guard volunteers paying homage to fallen soldier and K9 partnerHonor Guard volunteers paying homage to fallen soldier and K9 partner

A group of baggage handlers for Delta Airlines was captured on video performing a respectful ceremony for a fallen soldier and his bomb-sniffing dog (video below).

The ceremony was part of a tradition at Delta Airlines in which volunteers pay tribute to fallen soldiers when their caskets pass through the airport. The tradition, performed by the Honor Guard, was started in 2005 by Thomas Schenk, a former Delta baggage handler and military veteran, according to the Daily Mail.

The video, shot at Hatsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, shows a line of airport workers holding flags as a flag-draped casket is transferred from the plane into a specially designated cart. Next is a smaller casket, holding the remains of the soldier's K9 partner.

The two were reportedly killed by an improvised explosive device, according to the Daily Mail.

As the remains are taken away, the volunteers are saluted by military personnel and perform a short march as travelers look on from the airport terminal above.

"I still get nervous every time I do one. I have to catch my breath," Delta employee Brian McConnell told the Journal-Constitution, according to the New York Daily News.

McConnell, who has not served in the military himself, said coordinating the patriotic tribute is the least he can do.

"I came from a family of servicemen," he said in a Delta report about the tradition. "My father and uncles all served and my eldest son today continues his active duty service in the United States Air Force. I have never had the honor of service, but this is my way of serving and my way of preserving the dignity and honor of those who have served."

The Honor Guard ceremony is performed by Delta volunteers in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Sources: Daily Mail, New York Daily News, Vickie Devore/YouTube / Photo credit: BenLynnvideo/YouTube via Daily Mail

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