A Florida funeral director and hearse driver are now pounding the pavement for a new job after leaving a hearse containing the flag-draped coffin of 84-year-old Lt. Col. Jesse Coleman unattended outside a New Port Richey Dunkin’ Donuts.
The pair were en route from Veterans Funeral Care in Clearwater to the Army veteran’s burial service in Lecanto, Fla., when they decided to take the unscheduled coffee break. Although restroom breaks are permitted, the vehicle is supposed to be attended at all times, Veterans Funeral Care President Jim Rudolph told ABC News.
“When a car leaves the funeral home with a flag on it, it’s on a stage … and we’re in ceremony mode,” Rudolph said. “Going into buy a doughnut with a flag-covered casket in your coach was a terrible lack of judgement.”
When bystander Rob Carpenter happened along the scene, he was disgusted enough that he took photos and a video of the hearse, and posted them on the Veterans Warriors Facebook page.
The video has since gone viral. William Nazario commented:
“It’s bad enough that our Veterans get disrespected by the V.A., but now while on their way to their final resting place. The public at large has forgotten to honor our Heroes with Dignity and Respect. Rest in Peace my Brother!”
Twitter users weren’t shy about voicing their disgust:
@theblaze Total lack of respect for the Veteran and his family.
— Trish @AmericanLass (@AmericanLass) May 13, 2015
@theblaze UNCONSCIONABLE!!! The utter DISRESPECT. These individuals should know better. Coffee my ass. They could have waited till later.
— Michael (@RuneKeeper) May 13, 2015
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