Skip to comments.Air Force dumped ashes of more troops’ remains in Va. landfill than acknowledged
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 Americas 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 Pentagons 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 ...
Who in their right mind thought dumping the ashes of service men into a landfill was in any way appropriate?
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.”
This is shocking, outrageous, and unbelievable.
“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.
Right there is the problem. If we don't love and respect our family members, why you expect ANY government agency to do so?
I can see that. I am disgusted. God Bless our soldiers and airmen. Damn, just effin damn. I am sick.
But Osama got a full religious burial service at sea.
Didn’t the AirForce just acknowledge wiccans and satanists? Do I have this right? If so this is what you get.
And where did those union civilans GET those remains?? No excuses,,,
What is happening to this country?
Cultural Marxism is rotting us from the core. Just like a three-week-old ham.
When the Iowa’s turret blew up, sailors remains were tossed over the side and not part of any burial detail.
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?
Bin Laden gets a full-honors burial at sea, yet our troops don’t warrant more than a ****ing DUMPING INTO A ****ING LANDFILL!!!!?????
I can NOT believe this is happening in my country. It’s become so turd-world...
TOO EFFING BAD!!! GET ON IT!!!
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.
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.
“But Osama got a full religious burial service at sea.”
Bin Laden’s burial was in accordance with Islamic law.
Our president made sure of that.
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.
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.
The current USAF leadership is the left wing of the US military.
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.
Lady vet! I’m with you!
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.
Btw, you are correct about how âprivatizationâ is the cause of this. Dover was one of the fist AF bases to, as I put it, be âcontracted outâ around the late 1990s. âPrivatizationâ saves money, but in the long run, creates disorder, miscomunication and perpetual incompetence.
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.
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.
Why did they put the Air Force in charge of this. They should have left it up to the military instead.
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.
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.
If the commander in chief (loosely) isn’t pro-life, what do you expect? Individual life is devalued.
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?!
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"
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?
You just dropped the bomb.
This is a disgrace. They could go in a garden or yard. There is no excuse for this. Sickening.
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.
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!?
No words. There are no words.
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.
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.
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.