Honoring our cherished dead: the right and wrong way to do it

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Honoring our cherished dead: the right and wrong way to do it

First, the right way, from The Washington Times:

The federal government may have shut its doors due to weather  conditions —  but the guards tasked to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier aren’t  so quick to  abandon their posts.

With what’s being billed as the storm of the season dumping inches of  snow  on the Washington, D.C., region, leaving a cloud of closures in  its wake —  Capitol Hill, area schools, airports, Metro bus service and  almost all  government offices in Maryland, the capital city and Virginia — the stalwart  sentries for some of America’s most revered military  sites stand tall and  fast.

 And the wrong way:

Officials with the Wisconsin National Guard learned through social media that a National Guard member may have been posting inappropriate pictures of herself and other guard members during the funerals of fallen soldiers.

Around 6 p.m. Monday the Wisconsin National Guard released a statement on Facebook:

"It has come to the attention of the Wisconsin National Guard that a soldier may have posted inappropriate pictures and comments regarding their duties as a member of a Funeral Honor Guard. We are currently looking into the matter."

The matter in question appears to have stemmed from a private Instagram account. It shows a woman, who appears to be in the Honor Guard, taking selfies and complaining about the cold weather. The text that goes along with the picture reads, "Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."

For the life of me I can't imagine what these second troops were thinking.  Needless to say it has cause a total firestorm.

Go watch the video here if you want to get really angry, but I'm not putting the picture up because I don't want to hurt any Gold Star families.

 Also an example of what not to do:

A picture showing an airman tongue-kissing a Prisoner of War-Missing in Action symbol has gone viral, infuriating bloggers and veterans.

The airman has been identified as Staff Sgt. Cherish Byers, of the 92nd Security Forces Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash., said Staff Sgt. Alex Montes, a spokesman for the 92nd Air Refueling Wing.

Byers is the subject of a command-directed investigation that will determine if any disciplinary measures are warranted, Montes told Air Force Times on Friday. The picture was taken about three years ago but investigators don't yet know where it was taken.

On the first group of knuckleheads, all I can wonder is "where the hell were the NCOs"?  Seriously, who wasn't watching this go down?  No one stepped up and said this is a bad idea?  And this SSGT, I can't for the life of me imagine what was going through her head.


Posted in the burner | 8 comments
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As a Viet Nam Veteran, I experienced first-hand the results of public disrespect. As a medic working in the 18th Surgical Hospital, RVN, I witnessed the bloody sacrifices not only of the dead, but of the wounded.

It has taken decades of time to rebuild the level of respect that has been accomplished by our veterans of the wars since then, but all it takes is one or two events such as we are seeing on the news in the last couple of weeks to destroy. that.

Please people - think just a little bit before dishonoring your fellow vets. One second of stupidity lasts forever in these days of instant communication. These dead Veterans deserve the honor they have been given. Please accord them that honor.

Err...what exactly is your reference to a "second troop?" While the actions described in the article are a disappointing and disgusting display of behavior, I could not help getting a little sideways to read any National Guardsman or Reserve Component service member labeled as a "second troop." What is this, 1980?

I believe the "second troops" he is referring to are the second group of troops in the story. The first group of troops being the Honor Guards at Arlington. The writer did not mean second class troops. Although, based on their actions, I would call them a lot worse.

Yeah, second group, not like second-class. I was NG Infantry, so you won't hear me busting on the RCs.

Roger - Thanks!

As a Veteran and as a member of our Post's Honor Guard having done well over 50 Veteran Funerals, I find that the "KIDS" today have no heart. It's alway about them, I've stood tall in the cold and rain showing the respect that was earned to the Veteran we were honoring.
But, I was in country during TET, maybe thats the difference.

As a four year Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, I am appalled and disappointed in the actions of a few, however, I am much more appalled and ANGERED by the disrespect shown by our legislators when, every chance they get, they look for ways to ignore the promises that were made to the men and women who raised their hand and took the oath to defend our country with their lives if necessary. Come on people, wake up and smell the "kaka". Stop listening to what you hear on the 6:00 news and take the time to find out what is really going on in Washington regarding veterans. While it may seem to a small point, I remember a reference to "Veterans Rights". Now they are called "Veterans Benefits". Is that really such a small point? Remember. the way veterans are treated today will have a big impact on the number of people who are willing to step forward in the future.

It is dis-heartening to see the continual degrading of our military. Hopefully they acted out of ignorance and will be reprimanded and it will pass. As a Vietnam Vet, returning home in 1967 was a tough time.
It has taken me this long 2013, to finally talk and relate about my experience and I was able to join the American Legion.
It is just more of the same agenda of degrading America. However, this 1 act, is minor when compared to the down-sizing of our military by our government.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.