Bodies of Killed Service Members Return as Freight

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posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 03:29 PM
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A San Diego news station is reporting that the military is returning fallen soldiers via freight on commercial airliners. When questioned about the practice, a Defense Department representative said she did not know the reason why that was happening.
 



www.10news.com
There's controversy over how the military is transporting the bodies of service members killed overseas, 10News reported.

A local family said fallen soldiers and Marines deserve better and that one would think our war heroes are being transported with dignity, care and respect. It said one would think upon arrival in their hometowns they are greeted with honor. But unfortunately, the family said that is just not the case.

Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard.

But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


In my view, this demonstrates the real hypocrisy of this administration. Is this what they call honoring the sacrifice of our men and women in the armed forces???




Video Link.



[edit on 10-12-2005 by loam]

[edit on 12-12-2005 by asala]




posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 03:44 PM
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But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo.



I don't think there is anything new with transporting bodies of servicemembers in the cargo holds of aircraft. I'm pretty sure that's where all bodies are transported on aircraft. I don't know where else a coffin could be placed on an aircraft. In the past, the bodies of soldiers were escorted by a servicemember who rode with the rest of the passengers. Personally, I think it would be disrespectful of the flag to have it adorning the coffin in the cargo hold, but it should be replaced when the body arrives at it's location.


[edit on 2005/12/10 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 03:48 PM
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Did you not read the full article?

They do not return with the full color guard. It took the intervention of a Senator to do what is expected and right...



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 03:52 PM
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I read the article, loam. Did you? The hoopla is all about the way the body is transported. I have known those who escort the bodies of servicemen and I am unaware that they are to be met with by a "full color guard." The family is accorded a burial at government expense with full military honors. I doubt this will amount to much, when all the facts are in.

[edit on 2005/12/10 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:04 PM
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The point of the article as far as I can see is the undignified manner in which the bodies are returned.

Does this mean the entire united States military is so hard pressed are unable to reserve one military aircraft to make a weekly trip back to the states?

It does seem really cheap.

However if they are using commerical airlines another ethical issue arrises.

Who is getting the airpoints that the returning servicemen are accruing? I hope its not the military...



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:09 PM
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IMHO - there is a great deal left out , or misrepresented by this story . at risk of seeming insensitive they are BODIES , how hould they be shipped - 1st class ????

as pointed out - they get a funeral and IIRC the american legion ALWAYS sends someone

i see someone trying to score cheap points here



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:21 PM
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Well this is the image everyone is led to believe is the case...







And the irony is that these were the photos we were not supposed to see...


Give me a break... How obtuse can you be? As it turns out, they wanted us to see those versions... Just goes to show you never know what disinformation may actually be in play...


[edit on 10-12-2005 by loam]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:24 PM
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If you read the article, the bodies aren't returned to the U.S. via cargo, they're shipped from a U.S. airforce base to the families:


From the source article
The bodies of dead service members arrive at Dover Air Force Base.
From that point, they are sent to their families on commercial airliners.


They obviously can't use special military planes to individually take bodies all over the U.S.

I think this is much ado about nothing.

edit:

The above pictures you posted are of the soldiers returning from overseas and they are treated like this with the honor guard and flag draped coffin etc. After that, though, if there's no family to pick them up there and they want the body returned for a family burial, the military will ship it to them using normal funeral transport. I don't find this surprising or disrespectful at all.

[edit on 12/10/2005 by djohnsto77]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:28 PM
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If it's much to do about nothing, then why the DOD representative's statement?

Wouldn't she have known that?

[edit on 10-12-2005 by loam]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:32 PM
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Netchicken: Does this mean the entire united States military is so hard pressed are unable to reserve one military aircraft to make a weekly trip back to the states?




10news.com

The bodies of dead service members arrive at Dover Air Force Base.

From that point, they are sent to their families on commercial airliners.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The bodies receive full military honors at Dover. Besides an escort, I'm not sure that an honor guard is required for the arrival at the local airport, as there will be a military funeral, if the family wants one.

Dover AFB Gallery


[edit on 2005/12/10 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:36 PM
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Speaking as someone who has escorted a body home, it works this way.
After the family has been notified about the death (car accident in this case) their funeral home of choice is notified and makes arrangements for transportation of the body. The escort accompanies the body from the morgue to the airport and is there when it is loaded into the cargo hold of the aircraft. Once at the destination the escort observes the body being removed from the aircraft and rides with it to the funeral home where they are met by the family. The escort is with the body during all of the viewing sessions and at the funeral itself. A color guard if requested by the family is provided by the nearest military command. Once the funeral is over the escort returns to their duty station. The flag draped coffins that you all have seen pictures of are for the return of the remains to the US, usually to Mortuary Services at Dover AFB in Delaware. Once the remains are released from there they are usually shipped as cargo on a commercial carrier. One of the reasons for the plain metal boxes is to down play the loading of a coffin on a passenger plane. On the flight that I was on the pilot as part of his preflight announcement stated that this flight had the honor of transporting my friend home for the last time, which I thought was a nice touch.



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:39 PM
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Give me a break... How obtuse can you be? As it turns out, the wanted us to see those versions... Just goes to show you never know what disinformation may actually be in play


loam

You're the one being obtuse here. The photos you show are of bodies either being shipped from the overseas mortuary or arriving at or in route to Dover AFB.


[edit on 2005/12/10 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 05:05 PM
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there was also criticism about his use of an Autopen signature machine to sign the condolence letters to the families of the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan rather than signing the letters.


Rumsfield on Wiki

Well that is rumsfields approach and attitiude to the families of these guys...hes too busy or important to sign the letters himself. I think that though the reality of transporting these bodies is often not how we liked...whilst still being practical and logisticaly realistic, we should I feel be on gaurd for possible more systematic disrespect on this issue as a whole from the administration... At the end of the day for these dead soldiers it is now pretty much accepted that they sent this soldiers to war based on lies... so that is the ultimate insult...how does it really matter how their bodies come back after that?

Wrapping a flag on the coffin of a 20 yr old who died believing he was protecting the US from nasty weapons...aint going to change anything.

Just some thoughts...no disrespect meant, intended or noticed when checked it!

Well my favourite quote of Rumsfield below the only thing hes done that I like!

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know." (February 12, 2002)

Regards

Elf



[edit on 10-12-2005 by MischeviousElf]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 05:13 PM
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I'm not hearing an explanation for the DoD's comments...or the fact that a Senator was able to cause otherwise...or that the article explicitly says...


"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.


Well?



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 05:23 PM
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The most logical explanation is that the spokesman wants to take a look at the situation before making a statement. There may have been an irregularity with this transport that needs addressing. No one here knows what that might be and the DoD isn't talking, as yet. It very well may be that the issue will be handled quietly between the family and the military, without further ado.

It is very bad form to use situations such as these as a means to disparage the administration, but it is very common. Person's of conscience should avoid such. The US has a long history of honoring its fallen warriors, even to the extent of disallowing the exploitation of returning service-members by those who would use pictures of the returning coffins for political purposes. Now that that policy has been overturned, I guess no holds are barred.

[edit on 2005/12/10 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 05:39 PM
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I actually don't see what the problem is with this practice if it is, in fact, being done.

I'm thinking propping them up in a seat or filling the aisles with coffins would probably willy a few passengers out.

It's dead bodies we're talking about, not the people they were.



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
The most logical explanation is that the spokesman wants to take a look at the situation before making a statement.


Which then suggests it shouldn't have happened.


Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
It is very bad form to use situations such as these as a means to disparage the administration, but it is very common.


In my view, your "bad form" is my elucidation of hypocrisy.



Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
Person's of conscience should avoid such.


If that ain't the pot calling the kettle black.


Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
The US has a long history of honoring its fallen warriors, even to the extent of disallowing the exploitation of returning service-members by those who would use pictures of the returning coffins for political purposes. Now that that policy has been overturned, I guess no holds are barred.


How convenient...as if the number dead would be an irrelevant consideration in any conflict...




Originally posted by Valhall
I actually don't see what the problem is with this practice if it is, in fact, being done.

I'm thinking propping them up in a seat or filling the aisles with coffins would probably willy a few passengers out.

It's dead bodies we're talking about, not the people they were.


My sense is that's an easy position to take when you haven't lost someone who was asked to sacrifice for their country. In this case, the parents of that soldier obviously did think it was a big deal....and so do I.


[edit on 10-12-2005 by loam]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 07:40 PM
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That really isn't an argument, loam. That you're offended by the logistics of transporting dead bodies doesn't make this a real issue as far as beating up the government. It just makes you upset - not everybody. And it doesn't really make the argument more sound because emotionally distraught parents trying to live with the loss of their children aren't happy with the way the coffins were transported.

Maybe they should fly every coffin home in its own personal jet. Because that's actually the only alternative to the method being discussed here. It would be a bit disgusting to leave coffins in warehouses waiting for a C130 to fill up before flying them back. And, by the way, if they came in on military planes (as they have in the past) they still are in the cargo bay.

It's whining and over-reacting to logistical matters like this that weaken the voices that speak against things that really have substance.

And loam...I've got this deep feeling I've been far more affected by the sufferings and losses of war than you, so don't make assumptions.



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
That really isn't an argument, loam. That you're offended by the logistics of transporting dead bodies doesn't make this a real issue as far as beating up the government. It just makes you upset - not everybody. And it doesn't really make the argument more sound because emotionally distraught parents trying to live with the loss of their children aren't happy with the way the coffins were transported.


I'm sorry, maybe I should have been more clear. I'm not upset with the logistical fact that they are flying home in cargo holds. I'm upset that it is done in a manner devoid of colors and without some semblance of respect. That photo is tantamount to sending someone home in a brown paper bag.


Originally posted by Valhall
Maybe they should fly every coffin home in its own personal jet. Because that's actually the only alternative to the method being discussed here.


See comment above... I don't recall suggesting anything of the kind. Moreover, I don't think those parents expected as much. Remember they were prior military too. They are just looking for it to be done with something that demonstrates respect. That isn't too much to ask and has nothing to do with logistics.


Originally posted by Valhall
It's whining and over-reacting to logistical matters like this that weaken the voices that speak against things that really have substance.


I disagree. It isn't the only argument, it's just an additional argument of how this government repeatedly says one thing and does quite another.


Originally posted by Valhall
And loam...I've got this deep feeling I've been far more affected by the sufferings and losses of war than you, so don't make assumptions.


Then we would both be wrong.



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 08:11 PM
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But if they are flying the coffins home in cargo holds, they have to give the coffin (and the colors) protection during shipping. Therefore, the coffins (and the colors) have to be crated during shipping. To view a photo snapped of a shipping crate coming out of the cargo of a plane, and then jumped to the conclusion that no respect is being afforded to the coffin and the soldier's body contained within, is jumping to a conclusion that there is no evidence for...yet.

I don't see anyway they can avoid crating the coffins. And I don't think that means there is lack of respect being shown.





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