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Whitlock and Jaffe report: "Asked if it was appropriate or dignified to incinerate troops' body parts and dispose of them in a landfill, Jones declined to answer directly. 'We have recognized a much better way of doing things,' he said. 'Let me be emphatic: I think the current procedures are better.' The disclosure of the landfill disposals comes in the aftermath of multiple federal investigations that documented 'gross mismanagement' at Dover Air Force Base, which receives the remains of all service members killed in action in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere overseas."

The Dover Air Force Base mortuary for years disposed of portions of troops' remains by cremating them and dumping the ashes in a Virginia landfill, a practice that officials have since abandoned in favor of burial at sea, 10/10/11. (photo: Jim Watson/AFP)
The Dover Air Force Base mortuary for years disposed of portions of troops' remains by cremating them and dumping the ashes in a Virginia landfill, a practice that officials have since abandoned in favor of burial at sea, 10/10/11. (photo: Jim Watson/AFP)

Remains of US Soldiers Dumped in Landfill, Air Force Admits

By Craig Whitlock and Greg Jaffe, The Washington Post

10 November 11


he Dover Air Force Base mortuary for years disposed of portions of troops' remains by cremating them and dumping the ashes in a Virginia landfill, a practice that officials have since abandoned in favor of burial at sea.

The mortuary in Delaware, the main point of entry for the nation's war dead and the target of federal investigations of alleged mishandling of remains, engaged in the practice from 2003 to 2008, according to Air Force officials. The manner of disposal was not disclosed to relatives of fallen service members.

Air Force officials acknowledged the practice Wednesday in response to inquiries from The Washington Post. They said the procedure was limited to fragments or portions of body parts that were unable to be identified at first or were later recovered from the battlefield, and which family members had said could be disposed of by the military.

Lt. Gen. Darrell G. Jones, the Air Force's deputy chief for personnel, said the body parts were cremated, then incinerated, and then taken to a landfill by a military contractor. He likened the procedure to the disposal of medical waste.

Jones also could not estimate how many body parts were handled in this way. "That was the common practice at the time, and since then our practices have improved," he said.

Gari-Lynn Smith, portions of whose husband's remains were disposed of in the landfill after his 2006 death in Iraq, said she was "appalled and disgusted" by the way the Air Force had acted. She learned of the landfill disposal earlier this spring in a letter from a senior official at the Dover mortuary.

"My only peace of mind in losing my husband was that he was taken to Dover and that he was handled with dignity, love, respect and honor," Smith said. "That was completely shattered for me when I was told that he was thrown in the trash."

An Air Force document shows that the landfill is in King George County, Va. Officials with Waste Management Inc., which operates the landfill, said the company was not informed about the origin of the ashes. "We were not specifically made aware of that process by the Air Force," said Lisa Kardell, a spokeswoman for the company.

The Dover mortuary changed its policy in June 2008, Jones said. Since then, the Navy has placed the cremated remains of body parts in urns that are buried at sea.

Asked if it was appropriate or dignified to incinerate troops' body parts and dispose of them in a landfill, Jones declined to answer directly. "We have recognized a much better way of doing things," he said. "Let me be emphatic: I think the current procedures are better."

The disclosure of the landfill disposals comes in the aftermath of multiple federal investigations that documented "gross mismanagement" at Dover Air Force Base, which receives the remains of all service members killed in action in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere overseas.

On Tuesday, the Air Force acknowledged that the mortuary had lost a dead soldier's ankle and an unidentified body part recovered from an air crash; had sawed off a Marine's arm so his body would fit in his casket; and had improperly stored and tracked other remains.

The Air Force disciplined three mortuary supervisors after an 18-month investigation, but has not fired any of them, despite calls from lawmakers and veterans' groups for tougher action.

"What happened at Dover AFB exceeds on many levels the nationwide anger that resulted from reports of mistreated wounded at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007 and reports of lost or misplaced graves at Arlington National Cemetery," said Richard L. DeNoyer, the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "You only get one chance to return our fallen warriors to their families with all the dignity and respect they deserve from a grateful nation — and that mortuary affairs unit failed."

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on Tuesday commended the Air Force for the "thoroughness" of its investigation. His spokesman, George Little, said Wednesday that Panetta is leaving "open the possibility for further accountability" and that "there is no excuse for this kind of incident to occur."

Under military culture and regulations, the armed services have a special obligation to care for fallen troops and their families. All troops killed overseas return to Dover in flag-draped transfer cases and are honored in what the military calls a "dignified transfer" ceremony.

Smith,spent more than four years trying to find out what happened to her husband's remaining body parts before she learned of the landfill disposal. Sgt. 1st Class Scott R. Smith served more than 16 years in the Army and volunteered for dangerous duty defusing and destroying bombs in Iraq.

He was killed when stepped on a pressure plate that triggered a buried bomb.

Initially, Gari-Lynn Smith said she was led to believe that her husband's entire body was returned for the funeral. When Dover officials told her that his body was too badly mangled for an open-casket funeral, she said she became worried that some of his remains had not been buried with the casket.

"I knew he was blown up and had amputated limbs, but I was not getting a straight answer from the Air Force about what had happened to his body," Smith said.

She received her husband's autopsy report in 2007 and learned that some remains had not been found in time to include in the casket.

Shortly after Scott Smith's death, his parents had filled out a Defense Department form giving the Air Force permission to "make appropriate disposition" of any partial remains discovered after the body was buried, according to Pentagon records.

Gari-Lynn Smith said she believed that Dover officials would treat the remains with respect. The deceased soldier's parents declined to comment.

In April, Trevor Dean, a senior official at the Dover mortuary, informed her in a letter that some of her husband's body parts were cremated and dumped in a landfill in King George County. In the letter, Dean listed her husband's first name incorrectly, an oversight that Smith saw as yet another sign of disregard for her spouse.

"This has been nothing but a nightmare," she said.

Dean was formerly the top civilian deputy at the mortuary. The Air Force said he received a lower pay grade and voluntarily accepted a transfer to a lesser position in September as a result of separate allegations of mishandling of remains. He still works at Dover.

In an e-mail Wednesday, Dean declined to comment about the Smith case or the landfill practices. "We are pleased with the positive change in the program," he said in reference to reforms the Air Force says it has implemented at the mortuary.

Relatives of other service members whose remains were mishandled at Dover said Wednesday that they were shocked to learn of the errors.

Stan McDowell, the father of Capt. Mark R. McDowell, who died in an F-15E fighter jet crash in Afghanistan in July 2009, said the Air Force informed him Saturday that it couldn't account for a four-inch piece of flesh that may have belonged to his son.

"They were very apologetic, and it was all heartfelt," Stan McDowell said. "We know Mark was a Christian, and that he's in heaven. So we look at it like — okay, so maybe there are some remains that did not end up in his burial site. . . . That's not really a concern to us. And the reason is: We know Mark is separated from his body, and that he's in heaven."

The Air Force said it was uncertain whether the missing piece of flesh belonged to McDowell or his friend, Air Force Capt. Thomas J. Gramith, who was killed in the same jet crash. The other remains of the two airmen are buried together, under the same headstone, at Arlington National Cemetery.

Patricia O'Kane-Trombley, Gramith's mother, said she was assured by the Air Force's promises to ensure that something like this never happens again. "I don't like mix-ups. Don't get me wrong," she said. "If Tom were here, he'd say, ‘What can we do to make this better?' "


Staff writer Christian Davenport and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report. your social media marketing partner


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+24 # pernsey 2011-11-10 13:31
This is sickening!
+45 # tedrey 2011-11-10 14:01
I find the tearing apart of people into indistinguishab le body parts quite sickeniung enough. I say we stop it, okay, everybody?
+46 # Larry 2011-11-10 14:35
Do we treat them much better if they come back alive and wounded?
+11 # Michael_K 2011-11-11 01:07
Very good point, no we do not. Except if they come back traumatized and suffering from mental problems, in which case they're immediately given a police job.

Everything about all of this, in any way you look at it, is deeply shameful.
+58 # peterjkraus 2011-11-10 14:36
Sent off to war on a lie, then thrown away. Wow. Do these people know no shame?
+55 # fredboy 2011-11-10 14:37
So this is why the Bush team kept the news cameras away...
+12 # Texas Aggie 2011-11-10 19:20
That was my first thought, too.
+23 # Carolyn 2011-11-10 14:39
These men and/or women are honored forever in our knowing. Through this story, we will not allow them to have died in vain.

If war was ever noble, it is ignoble now. It settles no issue that is not a seed in the minds of men that comes up again and again.

The one thing war can be counted on to accomplish is horribly to kill and maim --with our unmanned killng machines, secret strikes, and capacity for waging thermonuclear war -- millions -- billions of the people of planet earth.
+35 # reiverpacific 2011-11-10 14:52
I've always said that the power-drunk brokers of war view these young people as nothing less than Cannon-fodder in spite of all the patriotic jingoism, hand-to-heart and flag-waving, so I'm not surprised -and it starts at the top with whatever administration is at war with someplace on the planet at any given time.
Not only doest this disrespect the memory and sacrifice of these young people who's lives have been wasted in wars of aggression for a lie or for corporate interests and greed but it spits right smack-spang in the eyes of their ever-grieving, often formerly proud families and friends.
So much for "Family Values" and patriotism!
I'll bet that Dick Cheney and his ilk don't give a shit either and would probably defend such actions as "collateral damage" or "just part of the job!". I mean, he got his seven deferrals from Vietnam as he had "Other priorities"".
Well sir, so had these folks and their kin!
I wonder if this'll even get to the owner-media; thanks again RSN and the writers.
+29 # Erdajean 2011-11-10 14:54
Well -- what spin can they put on THIS? Nothing will ever disguise or excuse the unvarnished truth. Our troops --our kids, whose every finger and toe we counted sacred at birth -- are now, in the eyes of those who utilize their young lives to keep the lines of commerce flowing -- nothing but garbage when they fall. After all, there is an endless supply of kids, who can't get decent jobs, to keep the Mid-East safe for Big Oil and war profiteers.
This just KILLS a parent, or any loved one. But it tells volumes about why they are STILL over there, where we had no business to begin with.
When are we going to tell our "leaders" that we have had a damned 'nough? And back it up, with whatever it takes?
+19 # nancyw 2011-11-10 15:26
And if they do this with American soldiers, just think how disrespectful they are with the civilian or allied soldiers of Afghanistan and Iraq, of the deaths from torture at Guantanamo. Disgusting, irreverent and unconscionable. What has become of this country? Is it all those kill kill kill video games this generation played? What's a body piece? What's a dead body? What's killing? Fun and 'I won'!! And they still make games like that - blowing up everything in sight, teaching our boys all the wrong things. It's hard enough to have the male species balance with compassion...
+22 # USA2012??? 2011-11-10 15:34
You guys would want me to sacrifice myself, love ones, and anyone else to be returned after giving their lives to this country to be treated this way? When our Congress is ready to pick up a weapon and serve give me a call: if they or their family members won't serve neither will I or mine!
+21 # SouthBrun 2011-11-10 15:35
The three that reported these acts were treated roughly. Any negative actions towards them have been recinded. They should receive a medal from the President for their bravery in blowing the whistle on this sad affair.
+17 # panhead49 2011-11-10 15:36
So what we have here is that Osama Bin Laden's dead body was treated with far more respect and dignity than some of our active duty service personnel who were KIA.

Just when you think you've hit the totally disgusted wall - they manage to make said wall longer & taller. Uh, kudos?? Rat bastards - with apologies to rats.

Deepest condolences to the families impacted by this debacle. I know I'm crying over it with a deep pain in my heart, I can only imagine what torment this is to you.
+19 # Shar 2011-11-10 15:37
Oh, the patriotic members of government call this mess
"Collateral damage".
It sounds to disrespectful to refer to lost live, not in tact.

When we the people learn to stop voting to put dishonest, cold, spoiled, greedy and self serving people to run this country.

Maybe, when the deceision to start a way, the first to go are the politicians who vote to start or enter the war.
+19 # sandyboy 2011-11-10 15:52
Thank you, reiverpacific! As I said only recently, the military covenant we keep hearing of in the UK, that they fight and we look after them, dead or alive, has always been a sham, right from WW1 when kids with shell shock who wandered off were shot as cowards to keep the rest in line. Landfill! That's just how those in power see our young people. Sick.
+15 # wantrealdemocracy 2011-11-10 17:20
We have to stop voting for the bastards in Congress now. They have the power to end the wars and to insist that our dead soldiers are treated with dignity and honor---but of course, what we have to do is end these illegal wars of plunder for the top 1%. Ending the wars and treating our war dead require a new Congress.

Vote NO on all incumbents. We need a clean sweep.
+3 # Johnny 2011-11-11 14:21
Only problem is, anybody with enough financial backing to run against an incumbent will have the same agenda as the incumbent. With exceptions so rare that they are trivial, only whores for international banking, AIPAC, and war profiteers can be elected in this country.
+18 # Torvus 2011-11-10 17:28
All the trouble some organisations go to in order to find out which body part is whose was shown to us by the care taken with DNA testing of remains from the civil wars (Bosnian/Croati an/Serbian) in the former Yugoslavia. Even today, in the UK, remains of the fallen from WW1 (1914-18), in France, are being DNA tested and are being returned to their families, when traced. HOW CAN THE USA SO RUBBISH ITS OWN FALLEN?? What sort of mindset does this? Frightening news to read on November 11 when we in the UK are remembering our fallen . . . the ultimate sacrifice they made. Yet some US nincompoops just casually disposed of the remains of their own dead forces in such a disrespectful way. And everyone went along with it. Shame, shame, shame. I suppose if you have no respect for the living, you have no respect for dead, is that it?
+8 # Doubter 2011-11-10 20:59
"I suppose if you have no respect for the living, you have no respect for dead, is that it?"

+20 # Buddha 2011-11-10 17:43
My first thought was to be sickened at this practice, but the responses by tedrey and Larry are exactly right. It is dumb wars like this that is sickening. Is the collatoral damage from our drone strikes and bombing for Iraqi and Afghani/Pakista ni civilians any less sickening? Seriously, end this. Bring our troops home, end Global Empire, scale back our Military-Indust rial-Congressio nal Complex, and let's put that money back to work here at home providing jobs, rebuilding our nation, caring for our wounded (physically and psychologically ) soldiers, etc.
+18 # Barbara K 2011-11-10 18:47
Mr. President: PLEASE bring our kids home from these unholy wars NOW, not at the end of the year, not at the end of next year, but right NOW. We have sacrificed our kids for this? Shame on those who did this to their remains after they were brave enough to sacrifice their all. My son-in-law included. This is so heartbreaking. Get them home so parents and children and wives and grandparents of those killed; along with the returning soldiers who are wounded and broken, can begin to heal. GET US OUT OF THERE. We are serving no purpose but to make the warmongerous weapons dealers wealthier. Let them eat cake.

+4 # Michael_K 2011-11-11 01:12
The president you're imploring right now is a Republican in every way but the name. Don't be fooled.
+1 # Johnny 2011-11-11 14:26
Agreed. And


Both "respectable" parties and the "respectable" media are nothing but whores for AIPAC, international banking, and war profiteers.
+3 # Billy Bob 2011-11-11 18:08
Agreed, sort of.

Who would you vote for instead?
+3 # Glen 2011-11-12 08:02
That, Billy Bob, is what concerns a lot of us who have already abandoned both parties. Where do we go from here. In truth, it really isn't up to us. It will be determined by those who are truly in power, not those running for office or even voters.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-12 15:37
So, your strategy (and the strategy of everyone refusing to vote) is to do nothing and hope for the best?
+9 # Billy Bob 2011-11-10 20:20
Just another example of conservative policy showing it's "love for the troops".

I wonder how this news would look on one of those yellow ribbon bumper stickers used to pressure liberals to stfu and "support the troops".
+1 # Shar 2011-11-11 23:07
Its the Democrats that volunteer for the Military. And others who care about people
+18 # Doubter 2011-11-10 20:55
Though I agree with all of you, my take is to keep these guys at home and let them die a natural death.
Keep constant pressure on the government or they'll have us killing and dying in Iran (or someplace - anyplace - else) if they get half a chance!
Personally I don't care if they feed my body to the dogs, as long as I'm not in it. SLASH THE PENTAGON BUDGET BY at least 90%! (WWII vet) Support OWS.
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-11-11 08:29
You're a WWII vet? Wow! Thanks for actually defending our country the last time it was truly threatened by outside forces.

My dad was a WWII vet and, like you, he knew what war really was and didn't ever try to glorify it by glossing over the facts. He was proud of doing his job. He was NEVER arrogant about killing. He was sickened by it, and never let us buy into the b.s. about war, propagated by people who never had to deal with a serious enemy. Going to "war" with an obscene advantage for the purposes of colonization has produced a lot of amoral phony "patriotism" from people who've never had an unselfish thought.

Thank you for reminding all of us that being a vet doesn't mean sacrificing your morality. That's TRUE patriotism.
-1 # Doubter 2011-11-13 22:23
At least you didn't use that trite (or so it seems to me) phrase "thank you for your service."
As I wrote elsewhere, as much as I dislike the phrase, I'll gladly apply it to OWS.
Thank You for Your Service, OWS!
+4 # papabird 2011-11-11 08:45
My wife and I met a casket returnin from RVN in Amarillo, TX in Jan 1968. I was released on convalescent leave healing from my wounds, We attended a funeral of a friend a fallen Lieutenant. The casket was closed and accompanied by an escort officer. There was a distinct descrepancy with the date of death of my friend the lieutenant. His wife was so disraught she couldn't even talk or even walk. The chior could not even complete the ceremony. The escort officer and those of us involved with the remains just let the descrepancy drop. We were certain he was dead but will never know who was in the casket.
+6 # Wild Bill 2011-11-11 09:29
I just returned from delivering a speech for Veterans Day, on its history and such and honoring vets. I was very disturbed to learn of this practice of "disposal" into landfills. I recall seeing the barrels aboard the boats returning from recovering the astronauts killed when Challenger blew up. Lest everyone go a little "nutzo" though and join with our current President in blaming Bush for everything imaginable, please note that the article sites deaths in 2009 as well. We don't know HOW LONG this practice began. Nor should we assume that these practices were EVER sanctioned by ANY President. They really don't get that involved in every detail of our lives, although the current one is trying to dictate every element of our lives while running roughshod over The Constitution, bypassing Congress whenever they disagree, ordering the EPA and such agencies to do unconstitutiona l power plays and such. I broadcast daily about many of these issues including the actions of The Bilderbergers, The Illuminati, Tri-Lateral Commission, Counsel on Foreign Relations. This crosses party lines. Members of these anti-American, globalist, one-world government entities include: David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, both Clintons, both Bushes, Cheney, nearly every member of Obama's cabinet, the Queen of Holland, Tony Blair and more. The international bankers are seeking global control. Be alert.
+5 # Michael_K 2011-11-11 13:04
The callous indifference to cannon-fodder is not a characteristic limited to either party. It is a well established tradition of American political hypocrisy.
+4 # boudreaux 2011-11-11 10:46
I am thankful for the whistle blowers but I believe this has been going on for along time and they waited too long and then the media says no one lost their jobs and we all know that 2 of them were fired and then rehired Then Paneta comes on the news not looking or talking like he is too upset about this and gives his little on liner saying we will look into this....what a bunch of bullshit all the way down the line...
+9 # Maverick 2011-11-11 11:37
As a Nam Vet from '71 to '75, I learned a few things about the military the hard way. To them you are just a "troop" and you will be replaced as easily as a burnt-out lightbulb. And -- thanks to the poverty draft -- there are many thousands waiting in line to take your place. All this nonsense about proper handling of remains only furthers the generational LIE about honor and glory and all the rest of that rarified BS which supposedly attaches to serving your country.
Look, if anyone is stupid enough to join the military; stupid enough to risk their life for a paycheck -- or a shot at some over-priced school or whatever -- there's a very good chance they could end up DEAD! In my book, dead is dead, the worms go in; the worms go out. And "heaven" is for adult fools who still believe in children's fairy tales. NOTHING about HOW the remains are handled changes that reality. These "grieving" parents who are now wringing their hands endlessly because their stupid kid got dead should have invested all this now-wasted energy in educating their child to the ways of the REAL world in which we all live. The war machine does not give one cold spit about the "value" of your child. If you want them to have ANY semblance of a normal life, keep them the f**k out of the military!
-3 # boudreaux 2011-11-11 13:21
Kinda rough on them don't you think, looks like you had to learn the hard way but everybody after you is stupid, that's not being fair to out troops man. It sounds to me like you are refering more to a criminal, they are just numbers and Our Precious Troop are just that Troops. I don't know about anyone else, I can only speak for myself but just like when you went to Nam, I honored you and I honor Our troops just like that....lighten up some man.....
+7 # Billy Bob 2011-11-11 14:28
I have a brother who served around the same time you did. My dad served in WWII.

I got the same lesson from them. Facts are facts, and some people have a hard time with them.

You hit the nail on the head, whether people want to hear it or not. It's the truth, and the fact that people have a hard time accepting it is the reason WHY we're stuck, once again, colonizing the third world.

Disregard what "boudreaux" said. DON'T "lighten up". Instead, KEEP YOUR HUMANITY AND YOUR PATRIOTISM. Thank you for loving your country more than the medal worshippers.
+4 # Glen 2011-11-12 07:53
Thank you, Maverick. I would add one bit here: some of these people are coming home in pieces, rather than a full body. That is rarely ever mentioned.

You are right about the military. Not supporting the military by not joining up would have some impact. However, those that enjoy the effort will turn to mercenary contractors. That, of course is becoming a preferred force in the U.S. and other countries.

Bribing young kids to join the military, is, in truth as bad as the draft, especially considering the corrupt reasons for and methods of conducting attacks on sovereign countries.
+8 # Jim 2011-11-11 12:39
It's upsetting that the lifeless remains of soldiers are not honored? What about their lives in the first place, sacrificed on the altar of political ideology and the underlying corporate greed? What about the countless lives of those in the countries we invade, lives that have be cut short, collateral damage? Once again we are being distracted by sadness and disgust for bad and sad things, fr9om much bigger sad and bad things.
+7 # Kayjay 2011-11-11 15:34
Sadly, the years and the centuries tick by, while human behavior remains the same. It's really disgusting to see how the "elites" view their fellow citizens as fodder to be used, lost and trashed. It reminds me of the Hollywood depiction of William Wallace's struggles in "Braveheart." It showed the King and elites of England on horseback safely behind the lines, watching the carnage their "fodder" fell and fell. Today the elites hide out on the "Hill" and cloistered rooms in the Pentagon...... while they play with people's lives.
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-11-11 19:06
You know, I've been thinking about it, and I think it's entirely appropriate that these bodies and parts have been dumped in a landfill:

Afterall, the garbage that was used to sell us the need for colonialism belongs in the same place. Afterall, that's where our Constitution has been since 9/12/2001. Afterall, that's where they'd like to put anyone who gets in the way of their agenda. Afterall, the million plus victims of this war (not to mention torture victims) have been swept under the rug. Their body parts aren't important enough to report or discuss. Their body parts have been blown into bits and allowed to rot in the street while "soldiers" pose next to them, smiling, for "trophy" shots. Afterall, that's what's happened to the moral standing of our country, as a result of actually being everything we claim to hate. Afterall, how many toxic waste sites in our own country will be filled with waste from the booty (oil) of this colonial occupation? Much of our living space has been turned into dump sites (and will continue to be), all for the sake of using every last drop of oil, before we even discuss more practical alternatives.

I say, leave them there and make a commemorative coin about it, with a picture of the dump, complete with flies hovering around. What better way to show what "we're really fightin' for"?
0 # John Goodspeed 2011-11-12 09:54
I am sorry to disagree with most of the writers but it is impossible to return every stained scrap of clothing or medical waste, every tiny piece of unidentified (flesh) to the family and loved ones of servicemen or women killed in action. At some point a small part of all of us will probably become "medical waste" - in my case it has already happened a few times. A kidney here, a gall bladder there, and it is of no consequence to me or any other sane person. The fact that the individual's remains were gathered together as carefully as practicable - treated with respect - and returned to his, or her, next of kin is enough. With the exception of intentional disrespect it is all a reasonable person can require. Some trace will nearly always remain that shouldn't be simply thrown in the ocean but that should be treated, respectfully, as the hazard to health that it could, or alreadh had, become.
+7 # Maverick 2011-11-12 11:55
BOUDREAUX: "I don't know about anyone else, I can only speak for myself but just like when you went to Nam, I honored you and I honor Our troops just like that....lighten up some man....."
When it comes to "modern" urban warfare where 90% of the casualties are civilian, I couldn't "lighten up" if I wanted to. And I don't want to. If full-color pictures of the carnage -- dogs dragging off dead children -- was piped into our living room in HD every night (as it was during what the Vietnamese call "the American war") these wars would be over before they began. But those images aren't allowed anymore. REAL reporters aren't allowed anymore; only "approved" reporters who are imbedded with the troops where their pro-military bias is inescapable. When Bush, Jr. was prez, even photos of flag-draped caskets returning to U.S. soil weren't allowed. Gato forbid the citizens should actually SEE the carnage they are financing, right?
In 2009 AND 2010, more soldiers committed suicide than were killed in combat. The numbers are a bit skewed as they include ALL veterans, not just active duty personnel, but still. I'll say it every day for the rest of my life. If you want your child to have ANY semblance of a normal life, keep them the f**k out of the military!
+7 # Maverick 2011-11-12 11:58
Per the "honor" thing, you didn't "honor" me; you didn't even know me! I could've been killed -- or not -- and your life would not have been impacted in even the slightest way. It's like the "freedom" thing -- this thing that supposedly our troops are fighting for . . . the reason we supposedly owe each one of them this vague debt of gratitude for the rest of our lives. It's complete nonsense; troops fighting for something they don't even have for themselves. And I will tell any one of them, "Don't pretend to be fighting for *my* freedom. Fight for your own freedom first. Once you have your OWN freedom? Then we'll talk about *my* freedom, but not until. Don't use *my* freedom as an excuse for *your* stupid folly."
+4 # Billy Bob 2011-11-12 15:47
I'm proud of you and feel the need to honor you. Not, for the "service to your country" the propagandists want me to believe in, but for the service you REALLY ARE providing to our country by telling the honest truth.

I feel the need to treet you with honor, because you are obviously a person of honor, which sadly, seems to be rare in today's military.

Did you ever see the documentary, "Sir! No Sir!" If not, you might really appreciate it. I wish everyone who feels the need to lick the military's boots would watch it first.

Thank you for your comments and your true patriotism.
+2 # Glen 2011-11-12 16:43
Maverick - more truth. Brutal as it is, folks should pay attention. Thank you.
+1 # moby doug 2011-11-15 20:42
If you want to honor still-living wounded vets, consider the following in-plain-sight VA scandal and do something about it. The north 20 acres (priceless Brentwood land) of the West LA VA was "leased" several years to the private Brentwood School. It was a sweetheart deal, $300,000/year for 20 years for fantastically valuable acreage. The students of Brentwood School are the children of millionaires (e.g.: Gov. Schwarzenegger' s children went there). Now they're playing soccer on land which was dedicated in perpetuity solely for the use of veterans. Meanwhile, thousands of homeless, damaged, veterans wander Los Angeles and the SoCal area. And nobody makes a peep about this giveaway.
0 # BeachN 2013-10-18 18:06
Then how does one explain this??? This info is conflicting to our government standards so is it really true???
0 # BeachN 2013-10-18 18:08
This appears as it may be sensational reporting with headlines making it appear as if it is whole bodies that are being disposed of in this manner instead of small disconnected pieces of bodies...

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