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Secretary Gates: Say No to Photographing Fallen Servicemen at Dover AFB

Tammy Munson at Army Household6 explains why she is asking Secretary Robert Gates to say no to allowing the media to take photographs of fallen servicemen from Iraq and Afghanistan as they arrive at Dover Air Force Base. It's a very personal issue to her and other military families and she hopes Secretary Gates continues the policy of no photographers:

This is one of those situations where I don't think we need to be transparent. If a service member dies, that is a private moment between that service member who already give the ultimate sacrifice and their family, loved ones,etc. Should they have to sacrifice their final goodbyes too?

I think that President Obama and Secretary Gates should ask US the military families... the ones it will effect of what we want to do. Let us decide if we want the media present to take pictures, video ,etc. First Lady Michelle Obama has said she wants to do more for military families... is this it? I certainly hope not.

I know for a fact that if my husband, SGT Daddy, has to make the ultimate sacrifice, I will not want to share my last moments with my husband and my children's father with a bunch of journalists, photographers, etc.


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Comments (12)

The Bush bashing for "start... (Below threshold)
Marc:

The Bush bashing for "starting" this policy will commence in 10,9,8,7,6,5.....

(Which will only prove how misguided and misinformed they are in addition to putting on full display their acute cases of BDS.)

Didn't the MSM make it a sp... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

Didn't the MSM make it a special point to condemn this policy; asserting that the First Amendment entitled them to access to the coffins?

Oh, that's right.... It's 'unconstitutional' when it's a GOP President...'Hopeandchange' when it's a Dem.

"Why should we hear about b... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, and what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose. It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

-Barbara Bush speaking to Diane Sawyer
Good Morning America, aired 18 March 2003
---------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------
4 March 2004, WASHINGTON (AP)

- Democratic officials, a firefighters union and some relatives of Sept. 11 victims assailed President Bush Thursday for using video images from the site of the collapsed World Trade Center towers in the first round of his re-election campaign's television advertisements.

...Two of the ads, one in English and an identical version in Spanish, also show firefighters carrying the flag-draped remains of a victim from Ground Zero."

Bush campaign officials strenuously defended the ads as a legitimate and sensitive depiction of the president's leadership in crisis, his commitment to New Yorkers and his resolve to fight terrorism. They circulated a statement from former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to buttress their argument.
"September 11th is the defining event of our times," Giuliani said. "This was a shared experience that the American people have all been through together."

http://billingsgazette.net/articles/2004/03/04/nation/export146382.txt


So what's your point Bryan?... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

So what's your point Bryan?

Personally, I don't think the press should be given access. They want the access in order to use those people for their own purpose.

Leave them alone.<... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Leave them alone.


It is up to the families concerned to decide.

I believe the president is ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I believe the president is commander and chief, and when he or she has to make the decision to send troops into harms way, he has earned the right of expressing the greatness of a nation however he deems appropriate. The press has no such rights or involvement in decision of importance. ww

If the press doesn't want t... (Below threshold)
John:

If the press doesn't want to report the good that our soldiers, including my brother, are doing over in Iraq and Afghanistan, then they should have no access to those fallen heroes.

GrandFan - "So what's y... (Below threshold)
Marc:

GrandFan - "So what's your point Bryan?"

You asked the wrong question. You'll have to ask if he can remove his hat.

"So what's your point Bryan... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"So what's your point Bryan?
Personally, I don't think the press should be given access. They want the access in order to use those people for their own purpose."
4. Posted by GarandFan

Some families of the KIA agree with you, some families don't. Before the Bush-Clinton-Bush ban, war dead were accorded a posthumous homecoming from overseas. It's not as if the coffins bear labels of who is inside and it's not as if a parade should be held. But a short procession, if of only yards distance, is IN NO WAY an insult or a case of exploitation TOWARD THE SOLDIERS. Toward the author of an unpopular war? THAT'S the rub, but when politicians' comfort or convenience is put foremost, it's a problem. For them.

Now, we can haggle over intentions and perceptions. I say take it to the "local" level: the individual families. Call it a permission slip signed or withheld.

Again, by my bi-partison hypocrisy links above in post3 you can read how the overall issue has been used and abused by both parties. I say take them out of it. Families first as representing the dead, is the common sense approach. Actually, Kim should resent the blatant commodization of heros (fallen soldiers)with the guy just doing his job, military or not. The latter deserves common respect, the former, quite a bit more. And our rights don't depend on a public official's embarrassment threshold anyway. Also, public performance prevents indignity. There are weirdos and sociopaths high and low in all walks of life. Excuse the abrupt segue but the following cautionary tale (that actually [email protected] happened) I dub an on-topic metapoint:

"On the truck, in the garbage cans, were the bodies of three astronauts from the space shuttle Challenger."

http://www.lutins.org/nasa.html

-----------------------------------------

GrandFan - "So what's your point Bryan?"

"You asked the wrong question. You'll have to ask if he can remove his hat."
8. Posted by Marc

OK. Since you've been torturing your poor chair all day trying to be recognized by the outside world/ non-subterranean hu-mans, (and since you mentioned by name) I'll talk to you.
Ahem! Are the rumors true, that you claim to be a lawyer?
I'm hear to believe you.
Unless your answer is Yes.
Guten abend! Prost! Pretend you've passed out.

bryanD, manchild. I presume... (Below threshold)
Marc:

bryanD, manchild. I presume.

Hark is that the far-away sounds of heads exploding in the direction of bryanD, the code pink gang, amnesty intl, and various and sundry other moonbats all hoping for a Bush neck-tie party over Gitmo?

Why yes, yes it is.

Wow, marc!A 7 minu... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Wow, marc!

A 7 minute response time.
That's like 7 nanoseconds on Wizbang's server!
Have you no shame?

And no, I won't mention your "lawyer" alter ego again. Your secret is safe with me, Superman!

Plus, I lied about having Bose 901s when I was a kid when in reality I had a fold-out GE "record player" built in 1965.

How was I to know another kid who lived across town would show up at my house expecting an audiophile experience?

*Oh, the pain!*

It is an intense and grief ... (Below threshold)
robert stokely:

It is an intense and grief filled moment when a family first sees the Flag Draped Casket of their Fallen Loved One. It is a moment when the death of a Fallen Loved one is tangible and real. It is a moment that should be private and personal.

So how can such a moment be preserved if we open Dover to media imaging and display? How can we honor the Fallen by making it a media spectacle as we intrude on their family and take away such a private and personal moment?

I have met a son's Flag Draped Casket when it was returned to us as a Family - August 24, 2005. I can tell you with real time personal experience that such a moment is not one that should have been taken away by displaying the photo or video of my Son's Flag Draped Casket on the national news before our family could see for ourselves. The Fallen's family, in such a moment, do not need to be shown the "real cost of war."

By the time the Flag Draped Casket arrives in Dover the photo and name of the Fallen has been released to the media and the public. The loss is no secret and can not be hidden by "cover of darkness." The Fallen are not "snuck" around and secretly buried.

However, there are two moments when the privacy of the Fallen and their family must be preserved - the first death notification and the first moment of seeing the flag draped casket.

Those who say the loss belongs to the nation and that the nation is entitled to see the Flag Draped Casket when it arrives, then come walk in our shoes, share our broken heart, and give a Lifetime of Love we have given. Once those who lay claim to such a "national right" have done that, then, they can lay claim to such a right.

proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq
USA E 108 CAV 48th BCT GAARNG




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