Vern Buchanan: Fallen Troops' Remains Dumped in Landfill is 'National Disgrace'
With reports continuing this week that U.S. Air Force personnel discarded the partial remains of at least 274 American service members in a landfill, Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan demanded a full investigation.
Reports have found that personnel at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware -- the initial stop on American soil for the remains of service members killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq -- have dumped the cremated remains in a Virginia landfill.
On Thursday, Buchanan called for an investigation and for the responsible personnel to be fired.
"This is a national disgrace," said Buchanan in a statement. "Members of the United States armed forces who make the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country deserve to be treated honorably, both in life and death. This is an outrage and those responsible should be immediately fired."
Buchanan pointed to a report in the Washington Post that noted that the remains of the 274 fallen troops were disposed of in a Virginia garbage dump from 2004 through 2008. The Florida Republican called for severe penalties for those responsible.
"A slap on the wrist is unacceptable," said Buchanan. "Those involved must be fired today and a congressional investigation should leave no stone unturned in finding out how this happened, who was responsible and how it can be prevented in the future.
"The men and women who bravely serve this country deserve all the care and respect a grateful nation can offer," added Buchanan.