Saturday, December 02, 2006


A blogger friend of mine sent this to me. I was so aggravated and astounded by the lack of respect here, that I had to post it. I also find it very difficult to believe that Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer et al, really give a damn about this. It's quite likely they're greasing the skids for a 2008 presidential run.

Witnesses say that what they saw at the airport, left them shocked and angry. At issue is the treatment of the remains of a soldier who was transferred through the Greater Rochester International Airport on his way home to Pennsylvania. Witness Cynthia Hoag and three friends watched as a flag-draped box made its way down the airline conveyor belt and onto a trolley right along with the other luggage. She said, "It’s a human being, someone who served the country, and they were put in baggage!" Mary Ellen Siraguse said, "It took your breath away, because you realize what was coming out of the plane…it’s shocking! You just don't expect one of your soldiers to come out of the plane with the luggage." Inside the casket are believed to be the remains of Army Sgt. First Class Tony Knier who was killed in Iraq on October 21. The women say the casket was escorted by a single soldier who stood at attention. Officials at the airport say they didn't even know the soldier's body was on board. Unless there is a specific request from the family, airports are frequently not notified. The transport may have violated military procedure which requires an honor guard of at least two people. The U.S. Army now says it is investigating, but Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said the U.S. military has informed airport officials that what the four women saw is considered an acceptable practice. Brooks disagrees. She said, “It’s unacceptable that this happened in our community." Brooks has sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense requesting the procedure be changed and that airports be notified whenever soldiers’ remains are being transferred. U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D, N.Y.) has sent letters to the Pentagon and Department of Defense calling for an investigation. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D, N.Y.) and Congressman Tom Reynolds (R, N.Y.) are also calling for an investigation. As the system now works, it’s up to the families to request that that airports be notified. In their grief, some might not know it’s an option. In this case, the soldier was being driven to his home in Pennsylvania. His family did not meet him at the airport, but Brooks said that shouldn't matter


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