Okay, on its face, this looks pretty bad. Two elderly brothers who made a living as hearse drivers for a Florida funeral home are out of a job after they were spotted getting coffee and donuts while driving an occupied casket to a cemetery. An added complication is that the funeral home they worked for caters to veterans, and the gentleman in the casket was a Korean War veteran, which was apparent to anyone who could see his flag-draped casket. Upon seeing the driver of a hearse with the casket in the back stopped in the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, an onlooker stopped him to ask if he was transporting a veteran.
“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.”
Well, that guy caught the pit stop on his phone and posted his account of the incident on a veterans’ group on social media, where, of course, outrage ensued. And now those two brothers are out of a job.
But there might be a reason to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. For one thing, the dead soldier in the car with the two brothers probably didn’t mind. For another, as one of the fired brothers explained in his own apologetic Facebook post, the pair had skipped dinner the night before and had to wake up at 4:00 a.m. in order to get to this funeral, which was 85 miles away, on time. Also keep in mind that both of these brothers are in their 70s, so they are not exactly spring chickens and skipping that D&D stop would have meant two sleepy, hungry old men with swiftly depleting blood sugar. Mike Luciano at The Daily Banter lays their case out, emphasizing this:
So, these two elderly men — and let’s stress elderly – who are still working, find themselves on the road at least 45 minutes away from their destination when they realize that they need nourishment. To the people who are upset about their decision, what exactly were they supposed to do in that situation at that moment? Were they supposed keep driving and hope they didn’t start to feel faint, lose focus, and maybe hurt somebody or themselves?
This is a very fair point, and while it’s clear that this onlooker had enough respect for a dead veteran, what about respecting one’s living elders? Because here is the extremely sad part of that driver’s Facebook post:
“Our lives are now ruined because of a donut. God forgive me. We now have no means of income because of a donut and being human.”
People can’t retire these days. These guys would have done that ten years ago if they thought they could afford it, but clearly they couldn’t. And now they’re going to be two senior citizens living in poverty, which is a much more tragic problem than getting donuts on the way to a funeral.