(Image Source: USA Today)

BY VICTORIA CRAIG

For five years, Dover Air Force Base mortuary disposed of unclaimed cremated remains of fallen soldiers by discarding them in a Virgina landfill -- all without disclosure to the families of the fallen. As CNN explains, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is now taking action.


“Panetta is calling for an independent investigation.”
Panetta: “None of us will be satisfied until we have proven to the families of the fallen heroes that we have taken every step possible to protect the honor and dignity that their loved ones eventually deserve.”


The new investigation follows the discovery that body parts of deceased military personnel had been lost, and an investigation of gross mismanagement of remains at the base. MSNBC offers an example of the kind of mistreatment investigators are looking into.

“Partial remains of other service members have been lost. In one case, a technician sawed off a mutilated arm of a deceased Marine so his uniform would fit for burial.

As Politico reports, three men have been reprimanded, but none have been fired, though Panetta is calling on the Air Force to investigate whether disciplinary actions were appropriazte.

“Three people – two civilians and a military officer – were disciplined after an Air Force investigation started in June 2010 found they failed to maintain accountability for service members’ remains and could not show they were handled in accordance with their families’ instructions.”

But a blogger for the Star Ledger says regardless of what happens with the investigation, the findings at Dover are simply a disgrace to the fallen.

“Dover...is considered military sacred ground, where the war dead are brought home with all the honors and pomp reflecting their supreme sacrifice. With these revelations, a ritual of war has been exposed as a sham with few standards and little quality control. All those who profess their pride and support for the troops should express their outrage. Wearing a flag pin isn’t enough. We need to get this right."
 

The Air Force base says it stopped the practice of landfill dumping in 2008. It now disposes of unidentified or unclaimed body parts in a ceremony at sea.
 

Panetta Orders Investigation Into Virginia Landfill Case

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Nov 12, 2011

Panetta Orders Investigation Into Virginia Landfill Case

(Image Source: USA Today)

BY VICTORIA CRAIG

For five years, Dover Air Force Base mortuary disposed of unclaimed cremated remains of fallen soldiers by discarding them in a Virgina landfill -- all without disclosure to the families of the fallen. As CNN explains, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is now taking action.


“Panetta is calling for an independent investigation.”
Panetta: “None of us will be satisfied until we have proven to the families of the fallen heroes that we have taken every step possible to protect the honor and dignity that their loved ones eventually deserve.”


The new investigation follows the discovery that body parts of deceased military personnel had been lost, and an investigation of gross mismanagement of remains at the base. MSNBC offers an example of the kind of mistreatment investigators are looking into.

“Partial remains of other service members have been lost. In one case, a technician sawed off a mutilated arm of a deceased Marine so his uniform would fit for burial.

As Politico reports, three men have been reprimanded, but none have been fired, though Panetta is calling on the Air Force to investigate whether disciplinary actions were appropriazte.

“Three people – two civilians and a military officer – were disciplined after an Air Force investigation started in June 2010 found they failed to maintain accountability for service members’ remains and could not show they were handled in accordance with their families’ instructions.”

But a blogger for the Star Ledger says regardless of what happens with the investigation, the findings at Dover are simply a disgrace to the fallen.

“Dover...is considered military sacred ground, where the war dead are brought home with all the honors and pomp reflecting their supreme sacrifice. With these revelations, a ritual of war has been exposed as a sham with few standards and little quality control. All those who profess their pride and support for the troops should express their outrage. Wearing a flag pin isn’t enough. We need to get this right."
 

The Air Force base says it stopped the practice of landfill dumping in 2008. It now disposes of unidentified or unclaimed body parts in a ceremony at sea.
 

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