Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cindy Sheehan: caught in her web of lies

You know, I get that Cindy Sheehan is a grieving parent. I can relate to and sympathize with that. But what I do not get is her need to spread disgusting lies. I'm not even talking about the things she's said about President Bush. No. I'm talking about the lies she's concocted about the handling of her son Casey's remains. Earlier this month, Sheehan wrote this account:
We picked him up in the United loading dock in a cardboard box and he was off-loaded into a hearse without one honor guard. We had to wait for about a half hour on a curb near the United freight area for his one escort, who rode from Dover Air Force Base in a seat, while Casey was treated as an over-sized piece of luggage. Has anybody held her other sobbing children who are sitting on a curb in San Francisco, waiting for the remains of their big brother to be carried over to the dock by a forklift?

Our so-called, illegitimate president has never attended a funeral, nor can families see the pictures of their loved ones as they are hauled like freight with flags on them from an immoral war zone. WE don't see them because Mama Bush doesn't want to "bother her pretty mind" with the images. America doesn't want to be bothered, either. We had a Casualty Officer who abandoned us when our mortuary refused to pay the cemetery and told us that the "government sent the money to the mortuary, so now it is your problem. You may have to sue the mortuary." Our government discards and dishonors its own.

Gateway Pundit gleans the following claims from her statement:
* Her son arrived in California in a cardboard box
* Her son was carried over to the dock by a forklift
* Her mortuary refused to pay the cemetery
* Her son was treated as an over-sized piece of luggage

GP then goes on to completely debunk these lies:
Cardboard boxes are never use to transfer soldiers!

"Crates" have not been used since Vietnam. Fallen soldiers today are moved in steel or aluminum caskets to their home of record (hometown). Further, the escort inspects the casket when it is unloaded. Since arrangements are made before each fallen soldier arrives to their home of record, the military would be shocked to hear that a forklift was used.

Here is more on the Official and Unclassified Department of Defense Policy on moving servicemembers killed overseas:


Before any remains leave Dover, port mortuary personnel coordinate with the receiving funeral home to arrange that the remains will be met at their final destination. We've arranged transport for over 2300 OEF and OIF casualties. In every case, the transport was arranged in advance and the funeral home was available to receive the remains.

Remains traveling from Dover may be escorted by either a service member, or in some cases, members of the deceased family to the final destination, at a minimum a military escort accompanies the remains to the final destination. Typically, the escort carries the U.S. flag during the flight, and the flag is draped over the casket upon arrival and during transportation to the funeral home. Our normal policy is to have a small honor guard render military honors as the remains of the deceased service member are taken off the plane.

Army Statement:

"The Army ensures that the remains of our fallen are treated with dignity and respect at every step of their journey home. Our dead are transported to Dover Air Force Base at which point families make known their desires for final arrangements. In order to expeditiously meet the needs of our families, the Army typically uses domestic airlines and the local mortuary meets the plane at the airport. These are the same arrangements that mortuaries use when transporting the remains of civilians. Later at the memorial service and funeral, the Army extends its final tribute to the Soldier and continued condolences to their kin."


Steve Nadeau, the mortuary's owner, said Monday that not only did he properly pay the cemetery, but that he subsidized the process with his own money.

In an e-mail sent to The Reporter Sunday, Nadeau expressed hurt and disbelief at Sheehan's comments. He said that the amount of money the military gave the mortuary for Casey's funeral service and cemetery arrangements didn't even come close to covering the costs.

"Several kind citizens made donations," said Nadeau. "I absorbed the rest."


When questioned about the casket:

"The casket arrived in San Francisco from Dover which is 67 miles from Vacaville. Sacramento would not have been as far. The casket was a beautiful hardwood casket, government regulation. It was covered in an "airtray" to protect it during the flight. It is a certified covering that all caskets must be covered in when they are flown from one location to another.

What about the forklift?

"There was no forklift. The military men present and the airport employees were very reverent in unloading the casket of this young man. They set the casket on a set of rollers and were very respectful in unloading Casey Sheehan."

On the Sheehan Family:

This was very upsetting because we have known the Sheehan's for years through St. Mary's Catholic Church where Cindy Sheehan was the youth director. Casey Sheehan was a wonderful young man. We have known the family for years.

On Cindy's article:

We do not know why she would want to bring down the name of this fine and respected funeral home. Cindy is sticking with her story. We have, of course, kept all of the receipts that show we paid the cemetery. If Cindy Sheehan wanted to pick on someone, she picked the wrong ones.


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