Air Force Dumps Dead Troops' Ashes in Unauthorized Landfill
1 year ago
Practice happened for years without alerting families of the dead
After the Air Force dumped the incinerated ashes of the dead bodies of at least 274 American military troops in a Virginia landfill, military officials said they had no plans to alert the families of those troops about it, even after those families asked the military to dispose of their deceased family member in a dignifed and respectful manner. Consider those families alerted now.
The Washington Post follows up their reports of the military losing the body parts of dead soldiers with another expose about how the Air Force dumped the cremated remains of an undetermined number of soldiers in landfills that weren't formally authorized under waste disposal regulations.
To find out how many cremated bodies were improperly disposed of, officials will need to parse through the records of 6,300 dead troops, reports The Washington Post.
The Air Force's general practice was to burn dead bodies to ashes and then dump them in landfills along with other mortuary medical waste. Incinerating medical waste is common, say funeral home directors and waste haulers, but including human ashes in that is not. The practice stopped in May 2008, but now the Air Force dumps the ashes into the sea.
Gari-Lynn Smith, the widow of an Army sergeant killed in Iraq, recently received an email from the military's mortuary director informing her of how her husband was disposed of in a landfill. She was not pleased.
“They have known that they were doing something disgusting, and they were doing everything they could to keep it from us,” she told The Washington Post.