Matthew Holley, R.I.P.

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On Nov. 15, U.S. Army Spc. Matthew Holley died in Taji, Iraq as a result of injuries sustained by an IED.

Now, since Holley died fighting for his country, he should be shown every respect we bestow upon our fallen. Unfortunately, the bodies of some of his fellow soldiers are being transported back to their families with no flag draped over them, no greeting by a color guard and in commercial airlines as freight.

Yes, this scenario was very nearly Holley’s fate too. Fortunately, his parents wouldn’t hear of it. Good for them.

John Holley and his wife, Stacey, were stunned when they found out the body of their only child, Matthew, who died in Iraq last month, would be arriving at Lindbergh Field as freight.

“When someone dies in combat, they need to give them due respect they deserve for (the) sacrifice they made,” said John Holley.

John and Stacey Holley, who were both in the Army, made some calls, and with the help of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, Matthew was greeted with honor and respect.

“Our familiarity with military protocol and things of that sort allowed us to kind of put our foot down — we’re not sure other parents have that same knowledge,” said Stacey Holley.

The Holleys now want to make sure every fallen hero gets the proper welcome.

To be fair, it sounds like the bodies of these soldiers come into Dover Air Force Base from Iraq with full honors. But for whatever reason, they’re aren’t being given the same treatment on their last leg home.

When the Defense Department was contacted they had no idea why this was going on. Let’s hope this was merely a stupid mistake instead of some bean-counter’s money-saving scheme. Because to think that some families have had to recieve their loved ones from the equivalent of a bodybag baggage claim is pretty heartbreaking.

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