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Some Don't Like Air Freight For Soldiers Bodies  
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13170 posts, RR: 15
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5952 times:

Their is a news report out of San Diego that the family members of some USA soldiers killed in Iraq/Afghanistan are complaining about the transport and handling of the caskets and remains on commercial flights, that it is undignified and disrespectful. At least one went to their US Senator to complain. They don't like that the coffins are placed with the rest of the freight, without flags on their coffins, no honor guard taking off the coffin from the a/c and so on. What so some of these people want, that the coffin be put across some 1st class rows in the cabin? I suspect some people will never be satisfied or are ignorant of the dignified yet practical treatment of human remains on commercial airflights.

There have been several threads here which have described with detail the dignified treatment by airlines with the transport and handling of the remains of soldiers killed or died outside the country as well as to the general treatment of all human remains. Some have included links or excerpts of stores detailing those procedures and general treatment. From those stories, I understand that within practical ability, there is very honorable and dignified yet practical treatment throughout the air transport system. One has to wonder if there are some political issues here beyond the actual treatment of their loved one's bodies.

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBBJII From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 850 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5930 times:

Given the number of Military Transport flights, I imagine that the families have a point.

However.....

There are more freight flights than anything else. I say allow the familes to vent there anger/frustration. The sooner these poor souls are laid to rest, the better for the familes.


 wave 



Remember: The Bird Hit You, You Didn't Hit The Bird.....
User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4906 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5929 times:

Well it's not asking too much of the military to cover a coffin with a flag. That said this may be an intentional action as the US is very sensitive to KIAs. If they send them home individually in unmarked coffins it's more discreet than a large military transport carrying a dozen flag covered coffins being met by an honour guard. Besides US air resources are busy transporting alleged terrorists to secret prisons  Wink

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineKaniksu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5908 times:

If it was my body being transported I wouldn't mind being in the freight area.

User currently offlineHiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2177 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5860 times:

In the 60's,70's and 80's the remains, if transported on commercial aircraft, rode in the cargo compartments but were escorted by a uniformed member of the armed forces upstairs who was brought down for loading and offloading and stayed with the deceased thru the funeral and burial. I do not believe that commercial pax aircraft are being used now in as great of numbers as they used to be...perhaps there is increased use of either military or cargo only aircraft with the growth of FedEx, UPS, and DHL. Additionally, ramp access for honors with the current level of airport security is not as simple as it used to be and quicker aircraft turn times preclude any ceremony. The industy now is not the one of the Vietnam era which was the last time we have had these significant numbers and maybe what the parents of these fine soldiers are remembering.

User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5849 times:

they gave their life for their country yet the country cant be bothered to have an honour gaurd their and a flag covering their coffin disgraceful absoloutely discraceful


You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineCALMSP From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4036 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5820 times:
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wasnt there people complaining about the picture fo a large number of troops (covered in flags) being transported?? i somewhat remember something along these lines.

we treat every HR the same, with special handling and care



okay, I'm waiting for the rich to spread the wealth around to me. Please mail your checks to my house.
User currently offlineN276AASTT From US Virgin Islands, joined Jan 2004, 620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5787 times:

As an AA ramper we are trained to handle the coffins with respect and dignity. We don't hang around the coffin, we don't leave it out in the elements. When it arrives from freight house and the aircraft is at the gate, we cut short what we are doing and get it loaded ASAP. Very little talking is involved, only enough to complete the job and then we press on to other matters.


Dejale Caer tu el Peso! YOMO
User currently offlineJasperEMA From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5776 times:

I do not think it to much if your young solders bodies are returned by military jet , covered with the flag , guard of honor,the last post ect.Show some respect! The gov seems embarrassed just like the 60s they died for their country(whether you agree with the war or not) and they are someone's sons (and daughters)
SHAME!!!!!!


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25568 posts, RR: 86
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5704 times:
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This link has slides of the transport - with flags, with honor guards:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4625212

It looks remarkably dignified to me.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineMD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5658 times:

When have we started to black out the faces and identification of honour guard soldiers? What the hell is that all about?

I must agree with the Brits who chimed in here to express disgust with the story.
And I, as an American, am disgusted that more Americans do not share the same feelings. What the hell has happened to our country?

The US military took these boys over to war....and they are responsible to bring them back (via military transport) with full honors, not on a commercial flight.


User currently offlineTPAnx From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5645 times:

This:
http://www.time.com/time/yip/2005/?i...d=AOT_h_12-11-2005_the_best_photos
from Time magazine, depicts the remains of a soldier being handled on a commercial flight. Link gives 24 shots..the one to whichn I refer is photo 18.And you may recall the post from a month or so ago about the captain--forget the airline--who told his passengers that the remains of a soldier were on the plane, and that an escort was traveling with them.
Both seem very fitting to me..
TPAnx



I read the news today..oh boy
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5633 times:

Quoting YOWza (Reply 2):
Besides US air resources are busy transporting alleged terrorists to secret prisons

You actually had a decent post going until you lost your mind here.

Quoting JasperEMA (Reply 9):
The gov seems embarrassed just like the 60s they died for their country(whether you agree with the war or not) and they are someone's sons (and daughters)
SHAME!!!!!!

Simple logistics. Nothing to do with being embarrassed or anything else.

Same reason living military persons going on temporary duty fly commercial airlines to their destination. COST! Far less expensive to buy a ticket in the cabin or the cargo hold on a commercial flight than to send an entier aircraft and crew.

Several reasons for not having the coffin flag draped . . . first: descretion. second: Some rampers (not all of them to be sure) at the various airports and airlines could give a hoot in hell about most things int he cargo hold - and treat it that way - and having an American Flag misplaced or improperly attached to or wadded up and duct taped to the top of the coffin is not the proper thing to do (I've seen all three).

When the bodies of our fallen soldiers are returned from overseas on the military transport they are flag draped, and they have an honor guard aboard the aircraft. If you've ever flown aboard a mission with dead soldiers aboard you'd know it to be a somber and wrenching trip no matter the length.

Quoting N276AASTT (Reply 8):
As an AA ramper we are trained to handle the coffins with respect and dignity. We don't hang around the coffin, we don't leave it out in the elements. When it arrives from freight house and the aircraft is at the gate, we cut short what we are doing and get it loaded ASAP. Very little talking is involved, only enough to complete the job and then we press on to other matters.

My personal thanks for that . . . escort detail isn't easy, and it's always easier when the rampers treat the remains with dignity and respect.


User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6912 posts, RR: 34
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5534 times:

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 11):
What the hell has happened to our country?

I've never seen a mishandling or any sense of disrespect EVER to HR (human remains) and especially never with a military honors escort.

One thing that no one's mentioned here yet, is that given the proliferation of RJs and such, there are some A/C that cannot capacitate a coffin, size wise. Also, HR needs to be booked in advance in terms of planning the load, bag counts, weight, etc.

These aren't excuses per se in terms of using cargo or a freight company for a military casket, but it's a reason insofar as logistics.

The RJ thing is VERY much a factor.


User currently offlineCrjflyer35 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 668 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5497 times:

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 11):
And I, as an American, am disgusted that more Americans do not share the same feelings. What the hell has happened to our country?

Thank you for actually saying it out loud. More people need to feel like you and I.

At my last unit, I had the distinct honor of serving in my post honor guard, completing 40 + funerals in my 8 month tour. On one occasion, we were tasked with going up to the airport (not gonna go into details on location) to escort the body of a soldier KIA. I have to say, that for how solemn our job was, I was still moved immensly. As we were carrying the casket towards the terminal and waiting hearse, you could see about 80 or 90 passengers in the terminal standing at the glass with their hands over their hearts and the like. Everyone had stopped what they were doing, taking a moment out of their lives to pay respect to a young man who gave his life for his country.
I'm personally disgusted that the US Government would allow a soldiers body to be transported like the way described. The least they are owed, are a military transport back, a flag over their casket, an honor guard to meet them when they return home, and a proper military funeral.

Of course, this is just the view of someone who has a very personal relationship with the subject.



Ok, wait for the RJ to pass, cleared to push tail south Mike, and you're cleared to spin #2 in the push.
User currently offlineByrdluvs747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2424 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5482 times:

Maybe if these parents complained about this bs war, they wouldn't have to complain about how their dead offspring are transported.



Burial at sea? Why is this still necessary? Don't those ships have small morgues?



The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
User currently offlineDw9115 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 449 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5460 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Thread starter):
suspect some people will never be satisfied or are ignorant of the dignified yet practical treatment of human remains on commercial airflights.

Maybe you should try serving in the military? Families expect flags on coffins and at least a member of the branch of service of the deceased service member to be present at all times!

Quoting Kaneporta1 (Reply 5):
If the deceased was enroled in a SA)">FF program can he/she get upgraded to the main cabin???

YOUR COMMENTS ARE COMPLETELY UNCALLED FOR AND SHOULD BE DELTED. YOU APPARENTLY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR MEN AND WOMEN WHO DIED SERVING THEIR COUNTRY. ALSO YOU DISGUST ME AND I ONLY HOPE SOME MAKES THE SAME COMMITS ABOUT YOUR OWN DEATH!

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 11):
The US military took these boys over to war....and they are responsible to bring them back (via military transport) with full honors, not on a commercial flight.

Thank you for your commits.

[Edited 2005-12-13 21:11:42]

User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5458 times:

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 16):
Burial at sea? Why is this still necessary? Don't those ships have small morgues?

Yes, the ships have morgues.

However, a life long sailor of 20-30 years with his/her heart in the Navy often request burial at sea - nothing mandates it. Same as a ground pounder requesting Arlington or their local National Cemetary.


User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5445 times:

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 7):
wasnt there people complaining about the picture fo a large number of troops (covered in flags) being transported?? i somewhat remember something along these lines.

Exactly. About a year ago, some families were complaining coz remains were flown back in a military C-130 transport plane. The government can't please everybody unfortunately and I doubt they'll start calling families asking them whether they want their loved one flown back on a military jet or commercial. I really don't see a problem with flying remains commercial but then again, people are different and I cannot really speak for those families because I haven't been in their situation.  tombstone  brave soldiers.


User currently offlineAirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3705 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5427 times:
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Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 4):
In the 60's,70's and 80's the remains, if transported on commercial aircraft, rode in the cargo compartments but were escorted by a uniformed member of the armed forces upstairs who was brought down for loading and offloading and stayed with the deceased thru the funeral and burial. I do not believe that commercial pax aircraft are being used now in as great of numbers as they used to be...perhaps there is increased use of either military or cargo only aircraft with the growth of FedEx, UPS, and DHL. Additionally, ramp access for honors with the current level of airport security is not as simple as it used to be and quicker aircraft turn times preclude any ceremony. The industy now is not the one of the Vietnam era which was the last time we have had these significant numbers and maybe what the parents of these fine soldiers are remembering.

Actually this still happens. I was able to watch a fallen soldier return to Wisconsin about two months ago. There was a full marine honor guard as well a police escort, his family, and the hears all on the ramp for when he arrived. When the A320 pulled in a Marine came down the stairs to the cargo door before it was even opened. They then proceeded to unload the casket, and did a full ceremony right there on the ramp. It was one of the most amazing things that I have ever been able to witness.

I have also seen a soldier coming home once when I was in Atlanta. It was pouring rain outside, but this soldiers officer escort stood vigil outside the aircraft bin until it was time for departure. He stood out there for well over an hour keeping watch over his fallen comrade. People need to understand that these men and women are being treated with the utmost dignity and respect on their final journey home after making the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I for one thank them, and applaud what they have chosen to do for our great nation.



Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5401 times:

Quoting Kaneporta1 (Reply 5):
If the deceased was enroled in a FF program can he/she get upgraded to the main cabin???

That is un-called for and you should be ashamed. Heartless comments like that don't have a place in any forum, leave alone this one. Like DW9115 said, hopefully someone makes such a comment about you when your sorry a$$ croaks someday.


User currently offlineSoylentgreen From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 245 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5377 times:

If we can fly terrorists on private jets (Gulfstream Vs), we can at least fly the bodies of our GIs, who've given everything, for the rest of us. Our military is being callous and disrespectful to the armed forces, and to all Americans. Writre your Congressman and ask that this be stopped.

User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5341 times:

Quoting Soylentgreen (Reply 22):
Writre your Congressman and ask that this be stopped.

Yeah, bring them all home that way we won't have to transport any more bodies.


User currently offlineJano From Slovakia, joined Jan 2004, 827 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5230 times:

Taking Chance Home


U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. Chance Phelps, 19, died April 9, 2004, from hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He was buried in Dubois, Wyoming on April 17, 2004. The below story was written by Lt. Col. Mike Strobl, assigned to Manpower Management Officer Assignments at Marine Corps Base Quantico, who volunteered to be the escort officer for Pfc. Phelps during his journey home. Lt. Col. Strobl's mission as escort officer was to ensure Pfc. Phelps arrived home with dignity and honor and in a professional and timely manner.


http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/jul2004/a071204a.html



The Widget Air Line :)
User currently offlineIadbgo From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5207 times:

Hello all,

I was a little reluctant to post at all on this thread but I think I should. There is an interesting photo in Time magazine this week of a coffin being brought out of an AA flight with a flag and honor guard there in the hold of the aircraft.

It is my understanding that every casket has a flag on it while being transported...with no exception. None of us know the full story here. If you listen to the interview with the family they say how they don't understand why their son was not flown home on a military aircraft. Their complaint is that the military did not bring their son home on their own aircraft..ie C-130, C-17 etc.

We don't know what the circumstances would have been for the casket coming home on a commercial aircraft. There is little reason to suspect that an airline would have some caskets with flags...ie the AA picture in Time...and others that are flag less. I don't mean to step on any toes because I believe that every American soldier, inrelevant of politics or situation deserves an honorable funeral and honorable trip to their family...but something doesn't add up here. The family protested and called their Senator (Boxer) ...the question is...were they told the casket would have no flag and no honor guard? If it did not then I would be interested to find out why some soldiers get honor guards while others don't.

An unfortunate situation all around.

IADBGO


25 Bond007 : Shameful. These proud soldiers, most of them in their 20's, gave their life for a very unjust 'war', and we can't send them home in a dignified manner
26 Boeing Nut : They gave thier life for this country, a more appropriate return trip home is in order.
27 LTBEWR : It is interesting the reactions and points made here. Don't forget, that almost all of the HR's of soldiers are transported by Military a/c to Dover (
28 HPRamper : I second that one. I think getting our troops shot is a bigger waste of "military assets."
29 Dw9115 : The reason for no press photo's at Dover (except for families present when bodies are brought back) is because the families asked for it because they
30 StuckinMAF : Too bad A.net doesn't have a "DISrespected users" list. In the strongest terms I am allowed to convey within this forum, inappropriate comment. There
31 777D : These men and women sacrificed their lives for their country. These soldiers should be given flights home on military transports not commercial flight
32 YOWza : It was clearly a joke. YOWza
33 Positiverate : You don't know the details or the reasons for why things happen the way they do. Until you do, wouldn't it be wise to reserve your comments? " target
34 Goldenshield : Back when I worked cargo, I was lucky enough to experience the handling one of the first casualties of the war at the airport first hand. Imagine this
35 ANCFlyer : Inappropriate remark for Civ-Av . . . wanna talk about this meet me in Non-Av. That said: Absolutely NOT! A flag should always be there. Re-read what
36 BWI757 : Could not of said it better myself. RR for you sir. Keep the political comments out of here please. BWI757
37 Joness0154 : What everyone here seems to forget is that all of the fallen soldiers get a ride home to the US on a military aircraft, then commercial to their final
38 Post contains links and images SlamClick : I have seen some of these soldiers returned to their home towns. I have to concur with what those who have actually experienced this have had to say:
39 Ken777 : Jano, Thank you very much for posting the link. It is very painful to realize that this is a story that has been repeated over 2,000 times in the past
40 Jgold47 : People need to get over themselfs. The bodys are transported to Dover, met with a colour guard, given the bells and whisltes. Then they are sent out t
41 SLUAviator : I saw this twice at ORD in the two years that I worked there. The escort was an officer and they got on the plane both times. While there was no band
42 N917ME : The remains of US Military servicemen and women are transported via C5 to Dover AFB, then are transported via scheduled carrier to the families. It wo
43 Prinair : While I do feel that the loss of life is sad, some facts seem to have been forgotten by people... The men and women of the armed forces perform a supe
44 Post contains links and images Clipperhawaii : You people are bent out of shape over nothing. http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...icle/0,1299,DRMN_3_4224657,00.html All transporting of military
45 StealthZ : One comment, I have read "Bringing Chance home".. I know my sister cried for some time over it. Whilst using military transport to return the remains
46 Post contains images Electech6299 : Thanks SlamClick and others with personal experience for bringing some reality and respect to a sensitive issue that appears, unfortunately, to be get
47 Dokken10 : We the US people are spending BILLIONS on the Iraq war,rebuilding of Iraq,the people of Iraq etc. The cost should not be cut or a factor when it come
48 Electech6299 : So since you have all the political sublety of a cockroach, lets hear your answers: Should the money spent on soldiers go towards a) their transporta
49 Post contains links Dw9115 : The 3rd Infantry Divison (Mechanized) is based in Fort Stewart, Georgia and it's aviation assets are based at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah about
50 L-188 : I think we need to recognize that there is a need to have a casket packed for travel. There is a reason every embalmbed corpse I have loaded on an ai
51 Crjflyer35 : I don't think these families are asking their loved ones be forever memorialized in huge statues in the front lawns of the Govenors Mansion. I think
52 StarGoldLHR : It's good these people are brought home. Our ancestors were left where they fell. (WW1/2). Personally having them home is much better than leaving the
53 Crjflyer35 : I forgot to include the fact that while I don't have a problem with using airlines to ship a soldiers remains home, I would just prefer it fall onto t
54 Post contains links and images Electech6299 : I found a reason why not for you HERE The rest of the site has some very informative information on the subject. And more stories. Personally, I like
55 DarthRandall : I'm a jaded individual. After these last five years not many things truely disturb me anymore. Reading this story and seeing those coffins in cargo st
56 Crjflyer35 : Thanks for the link, amazing how words typed out on a computer screen can make you really think?
57 Wjcandee : I have avoided weighing in on this to any degree, but now my tongue is bloody from biting it. The military does an extraordinary job of taking care of
58 DarthRandall : Okay, I'm feeling a little more collected now, so I think I'll respond to some of the other folks who've written about this. When were you in? You mak
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