Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Air Force dumped ashes of more troops’ remains in Va. landfill than acknowledged
The Washington Post ^ | 12-7-2011 | Craig Whitlock and Mary Pat Flaherty

Posted on 12/07/2011 6:39:00 PM PST by bimboeruption

The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill, far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show.

The landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said. There are no plans, they said, to alert those families now.

The Air Force had maintained that it could not estimate how many troops might have had their remains sent to a landfill. The practice was revealed last month by The Washington Post, which was able to document a single case of a soldier whose partial remains were sent to the King George County landfill in Virginia. The new data, for the first time, show the scope of what has become an embarrassing episode for vaunted Dover Air Base, the main port of entry for America’s war dead.

The landfill disposals were never formally authorized under military policies or regulations. They also were not disclosed to senior Pentagon officials who conducted a high-level review of cremation policies at the Dover mortuary in 2008, records show.

Air Force and Pentagon officials said last month that determining how many remains went to the landfill would require searching through the records of more than 6,300 troops whose remains have passed through the mortuary since 2001.

“It would require a massive effort and time to recall records and research individually,” Jo Ann Rooney, the Pentagon’s acting undersecretary for personnel, wrote in a Nov. 22 letter to Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.).

Holt, who has pressed the Pentagon for answers on behalf of a constituent whose husband was killed in Iraq, accused the Air Force and Defense Department of hiding the truth.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: airforce; ashes; bhodod; doverafb; fallen; landfill; usaf
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-94 next last
What is happening to this country?
1 posted on 12/07/2011 6:39:08 PM PST by bimboeruption
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption
IDK but apparently this happened during the George Bush regime.
2 posted on 12/07/2011 6:45:34 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

WTF?

Who in their right mind thought dumping the ashes of service men into a landfill was in any way appropriate?


3 posted on 12/07/2011 6:45:38 PM PST by Brookhaven
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

Let’s be very clear here. This WAS NOT done by Uniformed Airmen. This was done by UNION CIVILIANS who work for Air Force and DOD.

“The landfill disposals were never formally authorized under military policies or regulations.”


4 posted on 12/07/2011 6:46:23 PM PST by papasmurf (I pledge to vote (R). How 'bout you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

This is shocking, outrageous, and unbelievable.


5 posted on 12/07/2011 6:48:42 PM PST by From The Deer Stand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brookhaven

“Who in their right mind thought dumping the ashes of service men into a landfill was in any way appropriate?”

Some Officer who was not in danger, and would look decidely awkward if he/she was handed an M-16.


6 posted on 12/07/2011 6:50:20 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption
families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains

Right there is the problem. If we don't love and respect our family members, why you expect ANY government agency to do so?

7 posted on 12/07/2011 6:51:01 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: papasmurf; Brookhaven

I can see that. I am disgusted. God Bless our soldiers and airmen. Damn, just effin damn. I am sick.


8 posted on 12/07/2011 6:52:09 PM PST by waterhill (Strawberry jello is wild pig crack, they love it more than life)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

But Osama got a full religious burial service at sea.


9 posted on 12/07/2011 6:54:35 PM PST by ladyjane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

Didn’t the AirForce just acknowledge wiccans and satanists? Do I have this right? If so this is what you get.


10 posted on 12/07/2011 6:54:41 PM PST by dennisw (A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: papasmurf

And where did those union civilans GET those remains?? No excuses,,,


11 posted on 12/07/2011 6:54:47 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

What is happening to this country?
________________________________________________________

Cultural Marxism is rotting us from the core. Just like a three-week-old ham.


12 posted on 12/07/2011 6:57:30 PM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear (A MUST WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KeOLurcQaqI)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

When the Iowa’s turret blew up, sailors remains were tossed over the side and not part of any burial detail.


13 posted on 12/07/2011 6:59:52 PM PST by Molon Labbie (Occupiers- The world is watching....and alternatively laughing and vomiting)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: papasmurf

And where did those union civilans GET those remains?? No excuses,,, The civilians had no reason to go to a landfill except that no military solution existed. Of all the crap our military can spend money on. They can’t find a dignified way to despose of those remains and ashes?

How about burial at sea? Ships constantly depart. How about one common repository at Arlington?


14 posted on 12/07/2011 7:00:06 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

Bin Laden gets a full-honors burial at sea, yet our troops don’t warrant more than a ****ing DUMPING INTO A ****ING LANDFILL!!!!?????

WTF????????????

I can NOT believe this is happening in my country. It’s become so turd-world...


15 posted on 12/07/2011 7:01:43 PM PST by ScottinVA (I miss America.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption
Air Force and Pentagon officials said last month that determining how many remains went to the landfill would require searching through the records of more than 6,300 troops whose remains have passed through the mortuary since 2001.

TOO EFFING BAD!!! GET ON IT!!!

16 posted on 12/07/2011 7:03:24 PM PST by ScottinVA (I miss America.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

Just an unceremonious dumping of human ashes into a landfill.

I saw a place in which something similar was done to human ashes. It was called Auschwitz.

Yes, I feel that strongly about it.


17 posted on 12/07/2011 7:06:25 PM PST by ScottinVA (I miss America.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DesertRhino
Or some lazy enlisted personnel who did not want to be bothered with the paper work.

By the way, my wife, who is an 0-4 in the AF, just finished M-16 training in preparation of her deployment to Afghan. Being a liaison for several commanders between different FOB in Afghanistan 'aint all peaches and cream despite being a “high and mighty” Officer.

18 posted on 12/07/2011 7:06:47 PM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: ladyjane

“But Osama got a full religious burial service at sea.”

Right Friend...

Bin Laden’s burial was in accordance with Islamic law.
Our president made sure of that.


19 posted on 12/07/2011 7:07:45 PM PST by bimboeruption (Clinging to my Bible and my HK.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: All
Why wouldn't the fallen soldiers families want their loved ones buried with full military honors? I really don't understand this situation.
20 posted on 12/07/2011 7:12:22 PM PST by 4yearlurker (I've been dipping into my jar full of Hope & Change just to buy gas!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DJ MacWoW

Spot on.


21 posted on 12/07/2011 7:20:12 PM PST by ladyvet ( I would rather have Incitatus then the asses that are in congress today.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DesertRhino

I’m not making excuses. I’m just saying. This has been going on since Clinton, and the Union contracts that were pushed through during his time, which took uniformed Airmen out of that process and inserted civilians.

There was and is a Military solution...follow the regs., which are incinerate and bury at sea.

Bush ordered Gates to investigate, and he did. He ordered it stopped and bury at sea, in keeping with the morals and honor and regs. of the Military.

Try to remember, this story is from WaPo, in an election year, trying to tie it to Bush...i.e. Republicans.

This isn’t about a lack of funding, the money was there.


22 posted on 12/07/2011 7:21:00 PM PST by papasmurf (I pledge to vote (R). How 'bout you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: rollo tomasi

Screw you and your “lazy enlisted” comment. I won’t lower myself, or the Military, to respond in kind and denigrate an Officer.

But you, ESAD.


23 posted on 12/07/2011 7:23:26 PM PST by papasmurf (I pledge to vote (R). How 'bout you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

The current USAF leadership is the left wing of the US military.


24 posted on 12/07/2011 7:25:39 PM PST by Billyv (Freedom isn't Free! Get off the sidelines!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ScottinVA
I saw a place in which something similar was done to human ashes. It was called Auschwitz.

A sobering and very relevant comparison. It is beyond my comprehension that this happened.
25 posted on 12/07/2011 7:27:13 PM PST by TSgt (Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: From The Deer Stand

Why are you shocked.

Right at Arlington Cemetary they lost bodies and don’t know who is buried under what stone.They even buried some men on top of others.

One wonders if Dover is not big enough to at least bury these remain on post in a mass grave, but no, instead they sent them to a landfill with the garbage.


26 posted on 12/07/2011 7:30:37 PM PST by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ladyvet

Lady vet! I’m with you!


27 posted on 12/07/2011 7:34:21 PM PST by willibeaux (de ole Korean War vet age 82)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: papasmurf
Gee, enlisted personnel have never been imprisoned and court-martial for destroying/misplacing records (In general, not this specific case) because they were too lazy to file the things.

This insistence about Officers “living it up” inside the wire/ not caring about enlisted as the previous poster wrote, deserved the same “Screw you to” response.

28 posted on 12/07/2011 7:43:16 PM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: papasmurf

Btw, you are correct about how “privatization” is the cause of this. Dover was one of the fist AF bases to, as I put it, be “contracted out” around the late 1990s. “Privatization” saves money, but in the long run, creates disorder, miscomunication and perpetual incompetence.


29 posted on 12/07/2011 7:55:21 PM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: rollo tomasi

1. “This insistence about Officers “living it up” inside the wire/ not caring about enlisted as the previous poster wrote, deserved the same “Screw you to” response.”

I didn’t write it. Nor would I. Unlike you and, obviously, the other poster, I have absolute respect and high regard for all members of the Military. Officers, Warrants, and Enlisted. In the future, either don’t post to me, or confine your comments to the poster who made them.

2. “Gee, enlisted personnel have never been imprisoned and court-martial for destroying/misplacing records (In general, not this specific case) because they were too lazy to file the things.”

I could list dozens and dozens of Officer involved issues, I have 26 years worth of memories stored. But that tit for tat would be juvenile and disgusting, wouldn’t it?

Your reply should include an apology for all of the Enlisted who, with their respect and support, help your Wife be the Professional I assume she is.


30 posted on 12/07/2011 7:56:48 PM PST by papasmurf (I pledge to vote (R). How 'bout you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: rollo tomasi

It was a World Class operation in the70’s. I was a 57F Graves Registration (now 92M Mortuary Affairs). I went TDY from US Army Mortuary Services Training Center/Central Identification Laboratory, in Hi. to Dover to help train and implement the new path. evidence procedures and policy. (for Enlisted)
Years later, I left the Army and went into the Air Force.


31 posted on 12/07/2011 8:10:20 PM PST by papasmurf (I pledge to vote (R). How 'bout you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

Why did they put the Air Force in charge of this. They should have left it up to the military instead.


32 posted on 12/07/2011 8:11:58 PM PST by Hoodat (Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God. -Psalm 55:19-)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: papasmurf
"In the future, either don’t post to me, or confine your comments to the poster who made them."

Ok supreme one, but I can't promise you that. Also you responded to me first, you are entering hypocritical territory.

"I could list dozens and dozens of Officer involved issues, I have 26 years worth of memories stored. But that tit for tat would be juvenile and disgusting, wouldn’t it?"

No, that would be stating truths which this over-politicized DOD sorely lacks.

"Your reply should include an apology for all of the Enlisted who, with their respect and support, help your Wife be the Professional I assume she is.

Military members are not gods, they are infallible beings just like the rest of society. Many serve honorably, but some also serve to promote their self-interest (Especially in the Officer ranks and in the upper Enlisted ranks). What do you want me to apologize for? Stating some truths. I can't help it if I hear about enlisted personnel breaking HIPAA laws, or failing to secure medical records, selling social security numbers of dependents, etc...That happens, just like Officers stabbing colleagues in the back, kissing monumental ass in order to get ahead or taking credit for Enlisted personnel's work.

Also your ire is conpisously absent from the poster who struck my ire. I guess Officers, especially AF Officers are fair game in the grand scheme of things after all.
33 posted on 12/07/2011 8:40:38 PM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: papasmurf
“...infallible beings just like the rest of society.”

Sorry, should be fallible.

Thanks for your service and apologies for causing your anger. These cracks on Officers, especially AF, get old after awhile which causes a defensive posture.

34 posted on 12/07/2011 8:50:24 PM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: From The Deer Stand

SICK! That landfil needs to be seized and made into a national monument because of this. If Union Thugs did this—their union should be forced to pay the families big time and be branded as un fit to serve any US base or service. Sick times—Who’s running things—a bunch of left over anti-war Hippies? Oh yes, they are in power now.


35 posted on 12/07/2011 10:03:39 PM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

If the commander in chief (loosely) isn’t pro-life, what do you expect? Individual life is devalued.


36 posted on 12/08/2011 8:27:14 AM PST by floriduh voter ( Obamacare is to you as a can of RAID is to a bug. R A I D !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

What in the world is wrong at the Air Force!!

How do we desecrate the remains of our dead by putting them in a dump?!


37 posted on 12/08/2011 8:27:16 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Forward the Light Brigade; Jim Robinson; onyx
families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said

I agree, if the Air Force can use that dump for heroes, then the Air Force can buy that dump and turn it into a proper cemetery.

We'll have there not the Tomb of the Unknown, but the "Tomb of the Unappreciated"

38 posted on 12/08/2011 8:34:03 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Venturer
One wonders if Dover is not big enough to at least bury these remain on post in a mass grave, but no, instead they sent them to a landfill with the garbage.

You might be surprised to know that when embalming they flush the blood right down the drain into the sewer system.

39 posted on 12/08/2011 8:36:18 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Mr Ramsbotham
You might be surprised to know that when embalming they flush the blood right down the drain into the sewer system.

However, does that satisfy the military's agreement with the families that they would dispose of these remains in a dignified and respectful manner?

40 posted on 12/08/2011 8:40:23 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: ladyjane
But Osama got a full religious burial service at sea.

You just dropped the bomb.

41 posted on 12/08/2011 8:42:07 AM PST by frogjerk (OBAMA NOV 2012 = HORSEMEAT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: DesertRhino

This is a disgrace. They could go in a garden or yard. There is no excuse for this. Sickening.


42 posted on 12/08/2011 8:42:39 AM PST by No Socialist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption
No excuse but a deatil,

e-mail in July from Trevor Dean, the mortuary director, saying that incinerated remains had been taken to landfills at least since he began working at Dover in 1996. Dean is one of the officials facing discipline for his role in the reported mismanagement at the mortuary.

43 posted on 12/08/2011 8:45:36 AM PST by McGruff (Hold the House, retake the Senate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Billyv
The current USAF leadership is the left wing of the US military.

Maybe so, but it's been going on since the early 00's when USAF leadership was not left wing. So there really are no excuses for this.
44 posted on 12/08/2011 8:47:05 AM PST by hitchwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard; jazusamo; Girlene; bigheadfred; smoothsailing; RedRover; P-Marlowe; wmfights; ...
But Osama got a full religious burial service at sea.

And our troops get the bottom of the garbage pit at a dump.

Is this nation so far gone that it could be unworthy of the lives that have been sacrificed? Can it celebrate Pearl Harbor one day and put a deceased hero in a garbage disposal the next!?

45 posted on 12/08/2011 8:55:28 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: xzins
How do we desecrate the remains of our dead by putting them in a dump?!


I'm gonna get flamed for this. But oh well.
 
I'm finding it hard to see how these remains were desecrated by dumping them in a landfill. I find it abhorent that a body gets burned to ashes in the first place. That is not Christian.


46 posted on 12/08/2011 8:56:21 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS! This means liberals AND libertarians (same thing) NO LIBS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Pride in the USA; Stillwaters

No words. There are no words.


47 posted on 12/08/2011 8:58:38 AM PST by lonevoice (Klepto Baracka Marxo, impeach we much. We will much about that be committed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bimboeruption

I don’t know what I am more upset about, the way the Govt. treated the remains or that the families didn’t care enough to take care of the ashes themselves or at least make sure it was done correctly.


48 posted on 12/08/2011 8:58:38 AM PST by CARDINALRULES (Tough times never last -Tough people do. DK57 -- 6-22-02)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

While I don’t consider cremation to be the discussion here, it is certainly not my preferred method of burial.

One can, however, desecrate remains that have been burned.

As I recall, many Christians have been burned at the stake. I have confidence that they will not miss the resurrection.


49 posted on 12/08/2011 9:00:33 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: xzins
However, does that satisfy the military's agreement with the families that they would dispose of these remains in a dignified and respectful manner?

I would never have a problem with it. I don't think we're talking about whole bodies or large pieces of bodies being disrespectfully disposed of. My understanding of the issue is that small parts of bodies were getting mixed together and no one could say where they belonged. Like the blood being washed down the drain, these parts weren't considered significant enough to warrant special treatment. Maybe they ought to have been, but I can't see getting excited about it to the point where we're getting ourselves all worked up.

For my part, I've been through that mortuary and seen how they operate. I can't honestly imagine anyone there deliberately doing anything to disrespect the remains of deceased service members.

50 posted on 12/08/2011 9:12:45 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-94 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson