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.