A funeral home driver was admonished by a military veteran on Tuesday after he left a hearse with a flag-draped casket unattended while shopping in a Texas Wal-Mart.
Military veteran Tiffany Gallaway was so shocked to see a flag-draped casket left ignored and alone in a hearse while the driver shopped in a Dallas-area Wal-Mart, that she waited outside the car to give him an earful on respecting people who served America. She was so livid, she even caught the whole exchange on camera, according to CBSDFW.
“Excuse me sir, is that a casket?” Gallaway asked the unidentified driver. The man, of course, answered that it was in fact a coffin, but shrugged off the question with a chuckle, CBSDFW reported.
Gallaway continued to question the man, asking how he could possibly leave a person who obviously served in the military, police or fire department alone on a shopping mall parking lot. (RELATED: Two Hearse Drivers Fired After Bringing Dead Veteran To Dunkin Donuts)
“Well, because they [his bosses] dropped this thing on me,” the driver, who works for North Dallas Funeral Home, answered. He continued saying that his bosses made him pick up ice cubes and water bottles before the funeral of the person laying in the casket, and though he didn’t like leaving a “loaded” hearse on a parking lot, his bosses needed him to run errands.
But according to the funeral home, that’s not true at all.
CBSDFW reported the funeral home, which proudly hosts veterans’s funerals, did not give clearance for the driver to leave the hearse unattended, and that what he did was against protocol and “failed to follow our company policy.”
“This has got to be the most disrespectful thing I have ever seen in my life. I just want you to know that,” Gallaway continued. “This is absolutely horrible. That man died serving our country.”
Gallaway explained to the man that she herself is a veteran, and hopes no one ever treats her with such disrespect after she dies. But instead of acting remorseful, or even thanking the woman for her service, the driver cracked a joke.
“You mean you wouldn’t want to go shopping at Wal-Mart?” he sarcastically asked, followed by him laughing at his own wisecrack.
Police responded to the parking lot, but told Gallaway that only the funeral home could take action, not the police, according to The Dallas Morning News.
A representative from the funeral home told The Dallas Morning News the driver was reprimanded, but did not elaborate what that entailed.