Bring Out Your Dead

What the …:

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.

From 2003 through about 2008, Dover AFB was mixing body parts recovered from battlefields in with standard medical wasted, incinerating it and sending it to a landfill. Here’s my favorite part of the story:

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.)

Yes, pulling those records would be a massive effort. If only we had a massive agency whose job it was to collect and properly dispose of the remains of our fallen soldiers.

Wait a minute …

They are now properly tracking body parts and disposing of them at sea. But some heads have to roll into landfills over this. It’s outrageous.

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  1. Seattle Outcast

    I and all of my brothers were USAF enlisted, and my take on that branch of the military is this; anybody worth a crap bails after their first term is up because the lifers are the laziest, most incompetent batch of fuck-ups there are. This is because that, from the very beginning, the USAF was little more than a good old boy network focused around NCOs and senior officers from the east coast. Merit has little to do with promotions and sucking up (and frequently sucking off) is the primary driver of rank for most of the branch.

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