Sunday, March 01, 2009

one more time

If you say NO to the media being at Dover for the return of your loved one - there will be no media - that's what the SecDef said. Yes - he should have waited to announce his new policy (actually, its the OLD policy, which had been changed) until the how's wheres' why's had been sorted out. But hey, folks, remember, this is the military that "goes to war with the army they have". See - statements by SecDef Rumsfeld I'm sure there will be some sort of form - there always is. So if you have an idea of what you want this form to look like - send it in to the powers that be. If I were a betting person, I'd say this is a form that will end up having a box for the soldier to check off, saying yes or no. Yes, there are snafus with notifications and all the rest of it. And there are pictures out there taken by telephoto lenses at funeral - and the families didn't want them taken. BUT - if these photos were taken in a public place - there is NOTHING you or I can do about it! There haven't been any photographers in the bushes at Dover before, have there? and why the hell do you think they are just going to waltz on post now? if out of 20 families ONE says no - then according to the Secretary - THERE ARE NO media PHOTOGRAPHERS ALLOWED. As to the military photographers, there are probably already those out there... ever think of that?

Right now the media can only get on post - IF INVITED. I'm sure there are photographers attached to the military already there. Before we do all this screaming and wailing, can we please see what the actual terms of their involvement will be??

Those out there who hate the media - you aren't alone. I'm not keen on many of them either. And to think that just because I'm a liberal democrat, I'm keen to see photographs like that published - you obviously didn't read my previous posts. WE didn't make this political. The Secretary had looked at this issue last year, he never believed it was a good policy. He's not, last time I looked, a liberal democrat.

Enough already. BASTA! We will have to live with what the SecDef says. If you are against photographers at Dover, taking pictures of anonymous coffins being brought home - make sure your wishes are known to your family, make sure they are on whatever notification forms you have. Families - do the same. and talk to the inlaws/relatives whoever may be the NOK and make sure you are all on the same page. Family disfunction or not - this is a family decision, NOT a government one.



AirmanMom said...

LAW, I am in total disagreement with you on this one.
First of all, this ban was placed to show respect to families of fallen soldiers. It was not families who moved to have this ban removed.
Plain and simple, the media can not be trusted. What is their intent? Shock-value? My goodness, every one of us with a loved one serving our country, realize there is potential for a terrible price to be paid when our nation is at war. Many Americans do not support this war, we can only pray they continue to support our soldiers. More images of our soldiers coming home in coffins, will not bring our country together. We will always have these images appearing somewhere, with permission by the families. Do we truly need the media to be the the ones greeting our fallen soldiers? How often is it impossible for families to meet these fallen soldiers at Dover, instead they meet their loved ones at home.
What will be acceptable to photograph next, perhaps something to threaten our nation's security? Time and time again, the media has been given an inch and they take a mile. Why else would there be so many issues with Paparazzi?
I respect your viewpoint regarding the government having too much say in private matters...but this can of worms has been opened with no clear plan. Somewhere I read about 64% of families do not want the media present at Dover, so to please 35% of families who were not even pushing for this ban to be has created a mess.
I am sickened by this decison.
Thank you for opening this issue up for discussion!

ArmyWifeLane said...


Does it matter to the 64% when they have the option to say no? Is it really offending them that much to fill out a form (usually done before the deployment, or should be) that say no media?

I personally don't want the media there, if that was to happen. But this doesn't bother me because I as the family member have the option to invite the media or not.


Anchored Away said...

When will the logical fallacies end in this discussion? When will the misinformation stop?


I'm so tired of this discussion. Seriously. I opened up non-screaming comments at Blog Snarky, but now that I have an idea what's underlying the hysteria, I'm jonesing to close it down. It's just not worth discussing. We're not even going to get through to the hysterical masses. As far as they're concerned, the facts don't matter.

Screw it.

liberal army wife said...

AM - this policy was put in place by GHW Bush - when he and the cabinet were worried that the death toll from Gulf One was going to be huge (I got this from Colin Powell's book and a lot of other reading) It wasn't for the families, it was due to the overwhelming negativity that resulted from the pictures of the Vietnam War dead coming home.

As for OPSEC or secret places - that's not part of this discussion.


Anonymous said...

Somewhere I read about 64% of families do not want the media present at Dover, so to please 35% of families who were not even pushing for this ban to be has created a mess.

AM: First off, that poll was on ... not exactly an accurate representation, considering the lefty miltary peeps tend to stay away.

But this is exacly the point that LAW is trying to make: If God forbid your spouse comes home at Dover the same day mine does, and you don't want media presence there, but I do, too bad for me. Because your choice trumps mine.

I honestly don't understand why that is such a hard concept for people to grasp.

And yes, the media can't always be trusted. I don't like them most of the time, but I am aware going into this situation that there is a chance the pictures may get misused. And you know what, that is still MY CHOICE.

I don't need you, or anybody else who disagrees with this decision, telling me how I can or cannot grieve. By you (and everyone else out there that has said the same thing) telling me that "well the media is bad, so you shouldn't do this" that is exactly what you are doing. You are trying to decide for me what YOU think is best. For me. For my husband. When you don't know me six ways from sideways. It's exactly the same as me telling YOU that I think it's best for you that you allow these photogs there. But I don't know you. So how can I make that decision for you?

This decision allows me to decide what I think is best. For us. When you are faced with that decision, than you can make it for yourself. But let the rest of us decide on our own.

Anonymous said...

And I just re-read that and decided I sounded very rude. That wasn't my intention at all. Sorry. Was just trying to make a point!

GSMSO- Gold Star Mom Speaks Out said...

Nice to find your blog, LAW. If I may add my $.02 here.

The day that I was notified that my only child was killed in Iraq, I asked for a photo of his body being returned to Dover AFB. I wanted a photo of the ceremony treating him with dignity and respect. I was refused that photo- I was told it was "against Army regulations" and for "the
privacy of the families". Despite repeated requests during that week that his body made the final journey home and ultimately to Arlington National cemetery, I never received a photo.

My son loved being a soldier; he was a fourth generation Army officer and I would have loved to have a photo of that ceremony that we are told is honor-filled.

My son left for Iraq with parades and much fanfare. His coming home was hidden from me and my country and I think that was wrong.

As I said, this is my $.02, one opinion from one Gold Star Mom. I hope no one ever has to make this decision, but if they do, they should be able to get that photo if that is their choice.

Samantha the ArmyWife said...

I just found your blog and I love that you are opening discussions like these... I have always wondered where the "right" comes from. It is interesting to actually see their opinions, from their own fingertips (if you will). At the end of the day I think (no offense) the comments are more interesting than the posts... to see who agrees who doesn't and why. It's very enlitening.

As for this issue (I published my own post on the issue), I would have to agree with the Gold Star Mom at the end. These guys leave surrounded by such hooplah they should be welcomed the same way; either at their duty station or Dover AFB. Or at least give their loved ones the option to have, something as simple as a photo.

I look forward to following your blog and the discussions yet to come!