Military Families to be Given a Choice in Media Coverage

President Obama has decided to reverse the 18-year ban on news coverage of the return of war dead at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Families will now receive the option of allowing the press to cover the return of the bodies of their loved ones. Vice president Joe Biden says that he believes that the decision should be left up to the families and we should not make the decision for them. Some say that lifting the ban will allow the world to honor the fallen men who are returning; others conclude that the pictures of the returning coffins will be used as anti-war propaganda. Read more.

Explore posts in the same categories: Headlines, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Policy


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One Comment on “Military Families to be Given a Choice in Media Coverage”

  1. benning7 Says:

    During the years 1947-1950, my dad, then-Brig.Gen. Howard L. Peckham, commanded the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) in Europe. He was responsible for the disposition of more than 145,000 American war dead of the European Theater, who had been laid to rest in temporary U.S. cemeteries scattered throughout Europe. In every case, the next of kin was given the choice of having their loved one returned home or reinterred in one of the 10 permanent American cemeteries in Europe, which had been graded and constructed by AGRC. The Quartermaster Corps had a ranking system to determine whose wishes would receive first priority, and the system was strictly followed. If the deceased was married, the surviving spouse had first preference–and so on. The point I’m making is that the choice should always rest with the next of kin. Some today would want to share their loss with the media, by way of pictures; others would prefer privacy. The decision should be up to them. A ranking system, such as the aforementioned one used after WWII, would also be helpful to determine which family member would have priority in the decision regarding media attention. (A biography of my dad published in 2008, “A Salute to Patriotism: The Life and Work of Major General Howard L. Peckham,” devotes several chapters to his work with the AGRC.)Jean P. Kavale,

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