Today, Senator Mark Udall called for the prosecution and/or firing of those involved in the improper handling of the remains of service men and women by the Dover Air Force Base. His comments were in response to news reports that the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base – the point of entry for most American troops killed overseas – for years disposed of the remains of service members by cremating them and burying them in a Virginia landfill. Udall, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for the immediate firing or prosecution of the officials involved in the practice, which went on between 2003 and 2008.
“I was absolutely horrified to learn that the remains of American troops were literally thrown into a landfill by Dover Air Force Base personnel,” Udall said in a prepared statement. “There is no conceivable justification for our fallen to be treated in a manner that is totally devoid of the dignity or respect that they deserved. I am equally appalled that those responsible were quietly shuffled into new assignments and that the investigation was not made public.
“Hundreds of Colorado troops who were killed in action from 2003 to 2008 passed through Dover on their final journey home, and their loved ones cannot be left to wonder if the remains of their husbands, wives, sons, and daughters were discarded in such a callous manner. My deepest sympathy goes out to all of them.
“The Secretary of Defense has taken exactly the right action by reopening this investigation. The personnel who were involved in this decision should be fired and/or prosecuted immediately.”