Unconscionable: the Dover mortuary travesty
Between this and the Penn State story which dominates my sports radio, I am just sick. How could folks do this to their fellow men and women?
Three stories from Washington Post. First:
On Tuesday, the base in Delaware became the latest of the nation’s hallowed military places to be sullied by charges of mismanagement and scandal.
“How can you not know what body parts belong to what soldier?” said Crothers, of Conowingo, Md. “That is very disrespectful to the person who just sacrificed their life for the country. This is not acceptable. It’s just not.”...
All three are places where military families carry out mostly private vigils.
Each of them — an airfield, a now-shuttered hospital and a cemetery — have become part of the country’s civic religion.
Just how bad was it? Pretty unimagineably bad:
James G. Parsons Sr. was a military autopsy embalming technician working at the Air Force’s Dover mortuary when, on Feb. 2, 2010, he was assigned to prepare the body of a Marine who had been killed by a buried bomb in Afghanistan a few days before.
He had “extensive trauma” to his lower legs, Parsons later recalled. “Some of his lower legs were missing. He had extensive trauma to his left arm.”
But Parson’s said his supervisor, Quinton R. “Randy” Keel, who served as division director at the mortuary, wanted the Marine’s body placed in a uniform — something that was difficult with the arm fixed in place.
After some conversation, Parsons said, Keel ordered the arm cut off.
So, they've done an IG investigation and confirmed just about everything:
The Air Force admitted that the Dover mortuary misplaced a dead soldier’s ankle and another set of remains that had been stored in a plastic bag...
The Air Force disciplined but did not fire the mortuary commander and two other senior officials. Some members of Congress called the punishments inadequate, and an independent federal watchdog agency said investigators should have pushed harder to assign blame.
REALLY!?!!!?! No one got fired? If this isn't a firing offense, just what exactly would one look like?