Author Topic: 'Pet crematorium' complaint leads to Pentagon change - CNN  (Read 1634 times)

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Offline Yrys

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'Pet crematorium' complaint leads to Pentagon change

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Military cremation procedures have been changed after a soldier complained that his buddy's remains were taken to what appeared to be a "pet
crematorium," the Pentagon announced Friday. The Pentagon says that the facility had separate incinerators for animals and humans but that the signage and location of the
facility in a warehouse district near Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, did not show the appropriate respect due military personnel who have died while serving their country.

"The mere fact that they are in a facility that also performs this same service for pets is, in the estimation of [Defense Secretary Robert Gates] and, I daresay, almost all
the men and women you see walking around this building in uniform today, not appropriate for their service and sacrifice," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

The Torbert Funeral Home also displays a sign advertising the "Friends Forever" pet cremation service.

"We have absolutely no evidence whatsoever at this point that any human remains were, at all, ever mistreated; were ever not cremated where they were supposed to be
cremated," Morrell said. "That said, the secretary believes that it is inappropriate, even if though permissible under the rules and regulations, to cremate our fallen, our
heroes in a facility that also cremates pets."

All troops' remains arrive from the battlefield to the Dover Air Force Base Port Mortuary, which does not have its own crematorium. The Associated Press said Dover
contracts with Torbert and Pippens Funeral Home for cremations. Pippens uses a crematorium at the funeral home that is used only for human remains, AP reported.
A Dover representative visited one of Torbert's crematoriums this week, Bill Torbert, president of Torbert Funeral Chapel, told AP. Torbert said the representative was
satisfied that nothing was amiss.

However, Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell said cremations will no longer be done at mortuary facilities that are not part of funeral homes. He said the new policy,
ordered by Gates, will require all cremation be done at facilities connected with funeral homes that deal with only human remains. In addition, Gates has ordered a
comprehensive review governing cremation and remains at all mortuary facilities used by the military. "The families of the fallen have the secretary's deepest apology,"
Morrell said Friday evening.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, a member of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Gates on Friday calling for a review.
"This report is very disturbing and our men and women in uniform who make the ultimate sacrifice must be treated with dignity," he wrote.
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Offline Navy Chief

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Re: 'Pet crematorium' complaint leads to Pentagon change - CNN
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 18:12:18 »
Ah yes, the lowest bidder wins again.