A heartbreaking video shows the moment a widow meets her ex-soldier husband’s coffin on an airport runway, leaving a plane full of passengers in tears.
Green Beret Shawn Thomas, 35, a native of Oklahoma and a father of four living in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, died earlier this month after a car accident while serving in Niger, Africa.
His flag-covered coffin has been returned to Raleigh-Durham International Airport and the fallen police officer’s remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. He earned two Bronze Stars and four Good Conduct Medals, as well as other medals during his time serving overseas, according to the Army Times.
A plane passenger captured the moment Thomas’s wife, Tara, approached her husband’s coffin on the tarmac – and later said the widow told her to share the video so viewers could understand her sacrifice. military families.
Footage shows soldiers respectfully removing Thomas’ coffin from the plane while the cameraman sheds tears.
Tara, all dressed in black, can be seen through a rain-splattered window walking over to her husband’s remains and resting her hand on the American flag, bowing her head over the coffin.
After that, many family members gathered around her, their sadness evident.
‘It’s an honor to fly home with this PATIENT!’ Lisa West Williams, who shared the video on Facebook, wrote. ‘God bless his wife and family. There is not a dry eye around me.’
The clip has now been viewed more than seven million times, with dozens of comments thanking Thomas for his service and offering condolences to his family.
Williams told WNCT that Tara thanked her for the footage and wanted it posted for others to see.
“She wanted people to realize that this happens every day,” Williams said.
‘There were so many men and women who came home in a coffin and they gave their all for us.’
Passengers recalled hearing another person on the plane say as Thomas’ coffin was carried out, ‘Oh, another angel is coming home.’
Thomas was part of a group of soldiers deployed to Central Africa to work with Nigerian soldiers to fight terrorism and fight Boko Haram.
A spokesman told the Army Times he was unable to provide more details about the crash that claimed Thomas’s life due to the ongoing investigation.
The warrant officer became a member of the armed forces in 2000 and served seven times in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He received the Medal of Merit and the Army Commendation Medal posthumously, in recognition of the work he carried out in Niger.
An obituary for Thomas states that “under his thick beard, tattoos, and massive muscles, there was a small-town Oklahoma boy founded on faith, firm values, and family history. his family”.
The soldier survived with his wife, their four children, his parents, as well as his half-brother and sister.