Udall: Investigate and Account for All of War Dead who Went Through Dover Mortuary
As Preliminary Number of Mishandled Remains Surfaces, Udall Renews Call to Fire Officials Responsible
Today, after hearing further reports that Dover Air Force Base improperly disposed of the remains of American service members in a Virginia landfill, Mark Udall demanded that Air Force officials immediately search the records of every fallen service member who passed through the base since 2003 to determine exactly how many troops’ remains were desecrated. Dover is the point of entry for most American troops killed overseas, including hundreds from Colorado. Udall, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also renewed his call from last month for the immediate firing of the officials involved in the practice, which went on between 2003 and 2008.
“I am increasingly shocked that personnel at Dover Air Force Base failed in their obligation to treat our fallen with the utmost dignity and respect. This practice was extraordinarily disrespectful to those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, and now we’re learning that even more troops were dishonored than originally reported.
“As more details surface from the Secretary of Defense’s investigation, I demand an investigation into every file of every fallen service member who passed through the base since 2003 – we need to know exactly how many troops’ remains were desecrated. The excuse that it would take too much time and effort to accomplish this simple task is staggeringly callous. These young people died for their country, and their families deserve to know what happened once their bodies returned home. Dover personnel and the Department of Defense owe them that accountability. If family members inquire whether their loved one’s remains were thrown into a landfill, they are entitled to an immediate answer. I’m also renewing my call to immediately fire the personnel who were involved in this shameful practice.”