Monday, March 8, 2010

PLN 15

I read the article “Air Force Mortuary Ensures Dignity, Honor for Fallen” By Elaine Wilson and what matters is under pouring rain, the 757 touched down here late at night, returning Army Staff Sgt. Michael David P. Cardenaz home. He had been killed just a few days before in an enemy attack in Afghanistan. With family and friends near, an Army carry team marched in slow, measured steps to the aircraft, undeterred by the wind. Their hands white gloves, the soldiers slowly moved the transfer case from aircraft to waiting vehicle. Only the sound of distant aircraft and the anguished cry of a loved one cut through the silence. As the driver pulled away slowly, all of the soldiers in attendance raised their hands slowly in salute. “It’s a heavy toll our nation has paid on this, and these are the men and women who have borne the cost,” said Col. Robert H. Edmondson, the center’s commander. “We owe our best every time and in every way.” The center’s mission is to receive a service member’s remains, prepare them for final their final departure, then secure an expedient passage to the place of burial all while ensuring dignity, honor and respect to the fallen and care, service and support to their families. The staff tends to every seemingly minute detail, from the tight crease on a U.S. flag draped over a casket to a carefully built ribbon rack on a perfectly fitted uniform that may never be seen. It is great that he United States care about their fallen soldiers and their families. I have seen how they do this and it is sad but at the same time it is good to know their final departure will be held with honor and respect. This shows other countries how much the United States cares about their soldiers and that we will never leave a man behind no matter what their condition, dead or wounded they will never be left behind. “After 9-11 we had over 300 of our soldiers in here and every one of them was treated with the upmost respect and honor, we did not slack on our duties, we prepared every one for their final departure” said Col. Robert H. Edmondson.

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