Emmett Nolan is a World War II veteran who was flying from Los Angeles to Norfolk, Virginia for a very special occasion. Nolan was finally going to reunite with the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles. When his United Airlines flight landed in Norfolk he began to butterflies as he had been scheduled to deliver an extensive speech at his reunion.
However when Nolan went to claim his bag at baggage claim he was hit with a disturbing dose of reality. His suitcase containing his war uniforms, medals and ribbons was gone.
“I had presidential citation, a lanyard from Holland,” the 91-year-old recalled. “It’s valuable to me.”
Nolan’s extensive collection of military medals was irreplaceable and had extreme sentimental value.
Nolan had barely turned 18 when he first enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. He became a paratrooper with the 101st airborne Screaming Eagles.
He fought bravely in the Normandy Invasion and also survived the Battle of the Bulge.
“I think it’s terrible,” he said.
Linda Williamson is Nolan’s daughter who accompanied him on his journey to Virginia. She shared that the entire ordeal began when their initial flight was delayed and they were forced to sit on the tarmac for more than an hour.
This initial delay forced them to miss their connecting flight to Virginia. Somehow Nolan’s bag ended up on a completely different flight.
“It was just awful. I’ve never been treated like that in my entire life,” Williamson said. “I was so frustrated with the whole episode that I filed a complaint with the airlines and I also filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation.”
Four weeks after they were back home and the trip was long over, they still had not heard one word from United Airlines.
“I don’t know what they’d do, but they owe me something,” Nolan said.
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