The Air Force mortuary at Dover AFB, the main processing center for the bodies of US war dead, is under fire by the Pentagon for “gross mismanagement” of remains entrusted to their care.
The bombshell report, released on Tuesday, focuses on some rather small body parts in two instances during 2009. But it was the attitude on the part of the commanders overseeing the operation which has caused high-ranking officials to make the story public and reprimand those involved.
“In these instances the report demonstrates a pattern of the Air Force’s failure to acknowledge culpability for wrongdoing relating to the treatment of remains of service members and their families,” a special counsel’s report said.
The report details two instances where plastic bags, labeled as containing body parts, were found to be slit open and the contents missing.
The main criticism of the Air Force commander’s conduct was their failure to alert the family members of the war dead that the body parts were missing.
But is that something a family really wants to know?
In these cases, the body parts were a piece of ankle bone and a flap of skin. It’s possible those in charge may have felt it was a small matter. But it does show a willingness to look the other way on such an important and meaningful issue.
What do you think? Is this story something that could have been handled more privately? Or is it proper to make it public?
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