Skip to comments.Father Driven To Pick Through His Sonís Remains (Just imagine the horror)
Posted on 09/21/2010 6:32:33 PM PDT by OCCASparky
On September 15, 2010 at around 0800 in the morning, a family makes their way into Arlington National Cemetery for the Disinterment of a Marine Private killed by an IED in Al Anbar Province Iraq on 22 November 2006 killing him and two others.
As they stood at the grave site, a forklift arrives to raise a coffin from the vault that had interred it for nearly four years. Arlington knew at this point that the vault and coffin had been opened. When the family became aware of this action, an unsettling air of distrust settled upon the gathering. The father yells you lied as family members hold and calm him. The father already marred and angry by the uncooperative atmosphere and insensitivity of Arlingtons leadership; his grief now changes to anger. Another promise broken! Arlington, to seemingly cover their asses had breached the coffin the night before to ensure the Marine Private and the dog tags were in the assigned plot.
With a rotting corpse and the putrid stench of death permeating the air, a worker removes a dog tag from the coffin lid, wipes off the dirt, and hands it to the father. The forklift begins to raise the coffin; putrid water begins streaming out and those in attendance gasp as the fear of body parts falling from the unstable casket grips them.
Once removed, the coffin is lowered onto the bed of a truck and driven to a maintenance building where the verification process is to be held. In attendance inside were the father, a fellow Marine and friend of the Private who was to verify the remains, a Colonel, a Catholic Priest (arriving later), a Funeral Director, and some cemetery workers.
The father was already grieving and reeling from yet another confrontation with Arlington personnel the day before. He demanded and Arlington agreed the vault inside the grave would not be opened until he arrived the morning of the 15th. The father apprehensive about the days events was anxious if they would find his son inside. He fumed from yet another breach of trust. The father rejects the dog tags offered to him as verification by Arlington. The dog tags may have been sufficient had the integrity of the coffin not been breached. However, since it had been prior to the familys arrival; the father then requested visual verification. The staff at Arlington appeared unprepared for what was to come next, thus tipping the fathers hand.
His adrenalin already maxed and because of Arlingtons ineptness, the father instinctively jumps onto the truck in his dress clothes despite the rancid odor. The father begins digging through the water soaked; stench filled rotting dismembered remains of his son, in search of the severed arm with a tattoo on it. Meanwhile the Funeral Director is standing to the side, gagging. The father looks at the Funeral Director and tells him, Get over here and do your job!
Arlingtons assistance during this time consisted of providing him with latex gloves. The father removes his rancid dress gloves used in digging through the soupy carnage and discards them in the trash. He also removes his jacket, hat and sunglasses, and continues to search for the missing arm. This arm with the tattoo would positively confirm that the unrecognizable severely decomposed corpse was his sons. The father still searching as he inhales the pungent stench of rotting flesh discovers for the first time since his sons death, that only a torso, arm, and leg were there.
Finally, after frantically searching the carnage, the arm is found under the torso with the tattoo mostly intact. The father in a gesture of love carefully and gently wipes away the dirt. He verifies his son. The veil of doubt is lifted. His son now placed in a new casket, the family looks on as the Private is reinterred, and now all are at peace.
This is perhaps the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever read.
There is no excuse for this kind of behavior by the Arlington Cemetary employees. If those in charge won’t answer voluntarily, Congress needs to make them answer.
This insensitivity made me livid. How about you?
The day of reckoning is coming for these a$$holes.
I have to go calm myself down now.
Mad out, but more determined.
God bless all of those (and all of their loved ones)
who have made the ultimate sacrifice for me and my prosperity.
Crying now. What if that were my son? The Marine and so many others gave all to keep my family safe and this is how we treat them and their families?
“...will not answer for what they’ve done. Why?”
Guvment is in charge and knows better, don’t you know?
I confess to having been too busy with financial news in the last several months to have kept up with the issues at Arlington.
For those who, as I did, lack background, here’s what caused the father to go to such lengths of verification:
Several months ago I read an article stating that there are approx. 6,000 graves that Arlington cannot verify WHO is buried there!
My brain cannot even comprehend the emotion of that moment.
That father did right by his son! Painfully moving.
>This is perhaps the most heartbreaking thing Ive ever read.
Same here, buddy. My stomach just turned and heart dropped while reading this. I wished this was fiction.
Never before have just the written word almost made me sick.
This is outrageous. Just reading it, I could do a better more sensitive job, just having been an officer and knowing nothing about medicine or undertaking.
Arlington staff sound like heartless oafs
This was just sickening and heartbreaking, reading what that father had to go through in order just to be sure that was his son in that casket.
Why? Because there isn’t an immediate threat to put THEM in the ground.
A little waterboarding, a weapon deafening one ear, and who knows what could be accomplished.
Over the years I have read about many similar problems outlined in this report - no remains where gravestones are, completely missing remains, no headstones (that were once there,) graves with multiple remains (unmarked as such) and record irregularities abound.
How utterly horrific. My heart is aching for this father and my tears are for our beautiful soldiers treated with such disrespect. I am ashamed of our government.
Is there nothing at all that can be done to replace and then punish these heartless idiots.
Words are not adequate to describe how unacceptable this is.
sorry yourself. This is totally different. If you can’t empathize with the unnecessary anguish and horror of these families with out some smug ass remark, go to another thread.
It’s a disgrace! Are there any minimal qualifications to work there or is it another “set aside”?
We have several people who are remembered with just a marker
Who is ‘we’ ?
It’s hard to believe a veteran would write such crapp.
As is commonly the case throughout American history your own loved ones who were struck down in battle are memorialized by just a marker ~ or a group marker.
Precision identification is a modern belief.
I'll be happy enough to find my ashes at the national cemetery at Quantico ~ somewhere I don't have to be buried next to draftdodgers and enemy aliens.
I agree... those who were in charge, and those presently, should be brought before Congress and the nation, and explain themselves. Now we all know that in the military there’s an occasional SNAFU, but this is far beyond. It is reprehensible.
Another reason we need to elect a Republican Congress.
Democrats don’t care and won’t require accountability.
Let’s move on and all that.
We have to remember this in January, 2011.
Along with impeachment.
Realize that this father had to look through only PARTIAL remains—a whole body was not there.
The horror of that is unimaginable.
A father’s love drove this dad to do the unthinkable—look for the arm, look for the tattoo.
Then finding it, realizing this indeed was his flesh and blood, a son he watched growing up, a son that was his dreams for the future, a son he watched go off to war.
And body parts are all that is left.
May this father be given God’s peace for his grief.
Like his son did for his country, this father gave the last
full measure of devotion to his son.
He is a man to be admired. God bless him and give him rest.
There is no reason for confusion or haste causing these errors. This appears to be very incompetent management.
Personal opinion; There should be a special place in hell for these people. And no room in Arlington.
I emailed this story to Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin’s show. I hope they will spread the word.
A shade of Immemorial.
What the hell´s going on out there at Arlington? How much soetoro´s being spread around those grounds?
My grandpa is buried at he US military cemetery in Margratten, Holland. My granny inquired about getting his remains flown home. She was told that they could, but there was no guarantee that the remains would be his.
She decided to let him rest.
It was common for wartime remains to get mixed up. There was more important things to do. If it so happens grandpa is buried with some of his fellow soldiers, I’m good with that.