Hearse Carrying Veteran Stops at Dunkin' Donuts on Way to Funeral
Two hearse drivers have been fired for making a pit stop at a Dunkin’ Donuts while carrying the body of a war hero.
Rob Carpenter snapped photos of the hearse, which he spotted at a Dunkin’ Donuts in New Port Richey, Fla., on Tuesday.
He sent photos to the Veteran Warriors group, which shared them on Facebook.
“I was physically ill when I saw that, and I was very upset,” Lauren Price, of Veteran Warriors, said.
The hearse was carrying the body of Lt. Col. Jesse Coleman. The 84-year-old veteran served his country in Korea and Vietnam.
Coleman’s family said they have forgiven the funeral home. They will lay Coleman to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
Carpenter told Tampa's WFLA-TV that he waited outside for the funeral home workers to come back so he could confront them about their disrespect.
The station reported:
Carpenter, whose own father served this country in the military, described his confrontation with the driver.
"I'm like, 'Is this really a body in here?' and he says, 'Yes,' and I said, 'So you have a dead soldier in the back of your hearse and you're stopping to get coffee?' And he didn't say anything."
Carpenter said the men didn't seem at all remorseful.
The director of the funeral home, Jim Rudolph, said the two drivers, in their 70s, had stellar records and were very remorseful over what happened.
But he said in the end, he could not give the men a "redo" even though Coleman's family did not think the drivers should lose their jobs.