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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Pentagon Help Families

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today that the Pentagon would pay for families to travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware if they want to be present when the body or remains of a loved one is returned from war.

Mr. Gates announced last month that the Pentagon was reversing its longstanding policy of barring media coverage during the repatriation of fallen soldiers at Dover. He said then, and reiterated today at a news conference, which the Pentagon’s Web site streamed live, that the decision about media coverage would be up to each family.

He said that if several bodies arrived at Dover together on the same flight, the media could record the repatriation ceremony only of those soldiers whose families had given permission. That decision reflects the sharp division in the views of military families about whether coverage should be allowed; some have said it is an extremely private moment and want to keep it that way, while others have said they want wider recognition of the sacrifice of their loved one. Upi

What happened at the Pentagon on St. Patrick's Day?