Skip to comments.Familiesí Wishes Will Drive New Media Guidelines at Dover, Gates Says
Posted on 03/18/2009 4:39:23 PM PDT by SandRat
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2009 The wishes of the families will be the overriding principle guiding any media coverage of fallen warriors remains arriving at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today.
Gates directed a working group to come up with a plan to change a ban on such coverage imposed during the Gulf War in the early 1990s.
The working group I tasked to come up with an implementation plan has reported back, and we will put a number of its recommendations into action starting next month, Gates said during a Pentagon news conference.
If several remains return to Dover on the same flight, for example, the media will be permitted to cover only the dignified transfer of individuals whose families have given permission, he said.
Further, should immediate family members wish to be present for the arrival of their fallen hero at Dover, and this can be done without unduly delaying a fallens return to his or her own hometown, we will facilitate that travel, and we will fund it, Gates said.
The study began with a survey of the groups concerned with the process. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael J. Basla chaired the Defense Department's working group. He said his group spoke with Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives, veterans groups and senior enlisted advisors. What we heard were two sides of the story, Basla said during an interview. Some were very in favor of media access to the dignified transfers when the families agree, and some had concerns.
The concerns were all around wanting to put the fallen heroes in the best of light. They were concerned that that may not happen if we lose control, Basla said. On the other hand, he said, many family members wanted to tell the stories of their loved ones.
Officials at Dover will work out how the process will work. If families do not want media present, then officials at Dover can accomplish the dignified transfer of remains for those fallen warriors before allowing the media out to the tarmac.
Media professionals will have a strict protocol to follow when covering the story, Basla said. If any part of the media violates those protocols, then their access would be restricted in the future. Were going to preserve the privacy of these families, and were going to maintain the dignity of these transfers.
In making his announcement, Gates echoed those sentiments.
We are committed to seeing that America's fallen heroes are received back to their loved ones and their country with the honor, respect and recognition that they and their families have earned, he said.
The families should have the last say. The disgusting media only want to use pictures for propaganda.
I have seen idiot goons from the media climb trees in order to get the pain on a widows face as she is handed a folded flag from her husbands coffin. How can we expect these idiots to respect anything about service?
How bout letting the soldier’s themselves decide? If I were to come home through Dover I sure as hell don’t want anyone snapping photos regardless of what Ma and Pa may want. The ceremony at Dover is for the military to say good-bye to their own, it’s not for the families or fat, jeans wearing photographters.
How bout letting the soldiers themselves decide?
I agree. We have discussed this with our sons and they agree with you. I am confused about how people believe the media will treat any of this well. They already behave badly.