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With silence and respect: Taking care of the dead in Iraq

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 11:12 PM
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With silence and respect: Taking care of the dead in Iraq
http://www.newspress.com/Top/Article/article.jsp?Sectio...

In a small, quiet corner of this huge base, a soft-spoken group of National Guard soldiers sees to one of war's most gruesome tasks: preparing the bodies of American troops who have died in combat to return home.

The six-member team, from the 311th Quartermaster Company in Puerto Rico, is one of five mortuary teams at bases across Iraq. These soldiers have prepared more than 100 bodies of American troops to be sent home.

They've also prepared about 200 bodies of Iraqi civilians, detainees, police, soldiers and civilian contractors.

''We treat all human remains with the same respect,'' said Sgt. Carlos Colon, 25. ''Everywhere we carry them, they go feet first as if they were walking.''

<snip>

''Pictures from their family. That's the hardest part. When you're going through their pockets and you see a picture of their kids, their wives, their dads,'' said Sgt. Jose Vazquez, 21, of Guayama, Puerto Rico. ''They've got people over there waiting for them, and they're not going to go back. Just, they're going back in a case.''

Reminds me of the character Sam Beckett on China Beach who treated each of the dead as one of his boys.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 11:19 PM
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1. WE would respect them more if there boots were walking.
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