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Tearful Plane Passenger Captures A Painful Reality For Many Military Families

FEBRUARY 24, 2017  —  By Hannah Austin

This video taken at Raleigh-Durham International Airport is heartbreaking, but it shows something that those with loved ones in the armed forces have to deal with all too often.

While there are many problems in America, the majority of us live in relative peace and comfort. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that there are men and women abroad risking their lives every day for our freedom. Sadly, when some of them come home, it's inside a flag-draped casket.

35-year-old Green Beret Shawn Thomas recently lost his life in a car accident while serving in Niger, Africa. His obituary reads, in part, "Under his big beard, tattoos, and giant muscles there was a small town Oklahoma boy that was grounded by his faith, strong values, and family. He will be missed by everyone that had the opportunity to meet him."

When Thomas' widow, Tara, found out that plane passenger Lisa Williams had filmed her greeting his casket, she asked her to share the video with the public. Williams said, "She wanted people to realize that this goes on every day."

Read More: When This Soldier Said Goodbye To His Military Dog, He Did Something So Special

Thomas served seven times in Iraq and Afghanistan before being deployed to Niger. He was the recipient of two Bronze Stars and four Good Conduct Medals, as well as a Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal for his work in Africa. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Our hearts go out to Thomas' family and all who loved him during this time of unimaginable grief. Please share his story to remind others of the sacrifices made by members of the military and their families.

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