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Sunday, January 26, 2014

This Is A Picture The Military Has Never Let Anyone See Until Now

This is a picture the military has never let anyone see until now.
This is a picture behind the scenes at Dover Air Force Base where the bodies of fallen soldiers are prepared for burial.
And that includes being properly dressed, all the way down to the smallest detail.

In this picture Staff Sgt. Miguel Deynes is making sure the uniform is just right for an army pilot recently killed in Afghanistan.

There is a very specific process once a fallen soldier is returned home.

The bodies are flown back to the U.S. on a cargo jet.
A team of service members wearing white gloves carries the coffins, covered with flags, to a white van that takes them to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.

The remains are washed, the hands are scrubbed clean, and the hair is shampooed. If necessary bones are wired together and damaged tissue is reconstructed with flesh-toned wax.

Sometimes they will use photos, sometimes just intuition to recreate the wrinkles in faces, and the lines around the mouth or the corner of the eyes.

“It has to look normal, like someone who is sleeping.”

Once the body is ready then the uniform is prepared.
That includes putting medals in the proper order on the ribbon rack above the jacket’s breast pocket.

During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 10 to 20 bodies were arriving every day.

The embalmers often worked all night to get the bodies home on time. That can take an emotional toll so the mortuary has a large gym so workers can blow off steam.

Many say they are haunted by how young the fallen soldiers are, and by how many of them leave behind small children.

That’s why Sgt. Deynes says they are advised not to do research into the backgrounds of the soldiers.

“If I knew the story of every individual who went through here, I would probably be in a padded cell.”

The dress uniform being prepared in this particular case will be in a closed casket.

Even so, it will be perfectly tailored, starched and pressed. Everything will be checked down to the last detail.

Sgt. Deynes says, “They’re (the family) not going to see it. I do it for myself. It’s more than an honor it’s a blessing to dress that soldier for the last time.”

This story was reported by James Dao of the New York Times.
The picture is by Ashley Gilbertson.


Anonymous said...

Thank God for our military men and women. Pray for them daily. These honorable souls deserve so much more than we give them.

Anonymous said...

Bring them home and station them along our southern border to really stop the illegals.
They would be protecting our country.
My heart is sick when I see this , soldiers in my company died in Korea , I made it.
WTF is going on anymore?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I never knew this.

Anonymous said...

6:13-Nor did I.Every American needs to see this.

Anonymous said...

There's a movie about this starring Kevin Bacon. I think it's called Taking Chance, something like that. It covers the trip from the hurt locker to the arrival at his home where his family awaits. Bacon is the officer accompanying the body. It's really quite informative.

Anonymous said...

It must be heart wrenching to perform this service for our country, especially knowing the soldier may have died because of Obama's politics and rules of engagement that do not let our soldiers carry their weapons LOADED now in Afghanistan.
In some instances they are not even allowed to return fire. Again, Obama's politics.
These are real patriots performing their duty with honor and integrity.
Obama is a traitorous coward with no honor or integrity.

Anonymous said...

Actually 60 minutes had a story on it about a rear ago.

Anonymous said...

America needs to go back to isolationism, we have to stop killing off our best and brightest just to satisfy some political BS for an egotistical asshole in the Whitehouse! The only time we should ever be at war is when America is attacked, and then go back to how we used to fight wars, TO WIN !!
We need to go back to the policy of WW 2, bring the war to the people of the attacking country, when you bomb the cities and kill off the citizens wars end pretty quickly, just think how long and how bad it would have been if we had not dropped those Atomic bombs.
Just think how fast our past wars would have been over if we had used our Atomic bombs, we wouldn't need no Viet Nam wall !

Anonymous said...

7:31 The movie Taking Chance is indeed excellent. I recommend it especially to those of us who have served or anyone who gives a damn.

Anonymous said...

obama should be sent over there with a toy gun and see how long he lasts.

Anonymous said...

God bless and protect our service members.

Thanks to those who volunteer for this needed and heartrending activity.

Anonymous said...

God Bless our military men and women...if not for you, past or present, where would our freedoms be? I'm so glad they are shown much respect....