Two hearse drivers lost their jobs after they were spotted bringing a deceased war veteran on their coffee and donut run this week.
Rob Carpenter noticed a hearse in the parking lot of a Florida Dunkin’ Donuts on Tuesday.
When he saw an American flag covering Lt. Col. Jesse Coleman’s coffin, he took photos and videos, sharing both with the Veteran Warriors, who in turn shared the photos on Facebook. Coleman was a Korean and Vietnam war veteran.
“I’m like, ‘Is this really a body in here?’” Carpenter asked one of the drivers.
“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.”
Lauren Price, a woman with Veteran Warriors who has done funeral detail before, called the responsible funeral home.
“I’ve been on funerals where we had to travel four hours to do a funeral in full uniform in the dead of summer in Florida and we didn’t stop to get coffee,” Price said.
Veterans Funeral Care prepared the hearse, and its president Jim Rudolph said the drivers’ actions showed “a lack of respect.”
When Rudolph called the widow to tell her what happened, she said she was saddened by it but didn’t want the two men fired. He fired them both anyways, despite the two having years of experience.
“I think if they had the ability to turn back the day, they’d do things different,” Rudolph said. (RELATED: This Army Veteran Saved A Dog From A Hot Car And Got Arrested For It)