KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Kansas City International Airport held a special salute to fallen members of the military Tuesday morning.
Alaska Airlines delivered a new-fallen soldier cart to the airport. The cart will be used to transport the remains of fallen members of the military from a plane.
Maintenance employees who work for Alaska Airlines made the cart to honor those heroes who gave everything for their country.
The cart is designed with blue paint, red carpet, and American flag curtains. It also features plaques representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
The top of the cart includes a decal that says “Alaska Airlines Honoring the Fallen,” along with a star and emblems for the five-armed services.
The cart delivered to KCI Airport Tuesday morning was specifically designed for and dedicated to Army SPC Hunter Schmidtke, who served at Fort Riley. His mother, Julia Schmidtke, is a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines.
Schmidtke said it’s acts like the cart donation that have helped her since her son died in 2018.
“From that moment, this journey has been filled with so much pain but so many blessings. One of our friends said it’s a big hole in your heart when you lose a child, and that is a very accurate analogy, but all of you, all of this experience has filled the hole with nothing but love, honor, respect, kindness, care. We have no words,” Schmidtke said.
The special cart is the 12th of its kind made and delivered by Alaska Airlines. It’s also the first cart to be delivered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cart will remain in the care of Alaska Airlines but will also be available for any airline at KCI Airport transporting the remains of a fallen soldier.