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Old 10-23-2017, 12:00 PM
 
1,050 posts, read 2,479,437 times
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This might make some of us emotional but please stick to my question. Also, not trying to make any political discussion either based on the link below.

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ondolence-call

Quote:
Just before her husband was buried, Myeshia Johnson kissed his casket.

But in her interview Monday with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, she said she’s not fully convinced her husband’s remains are inside.

“Why couldn’t I see my husband? Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn’t let me,” she said. “They won’t show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband’s body from head to toe. They won’t show me anything.

“I don’t know what’s in that box. It could be empty for all I know.”
Question: Do they allow you to view the dead body of your loved ones in the casket or not? According to the article, they don't.

Why is it that families aren't allowed to view the dead body? it's seems completely illogical or can someone help me understand the logic. This has been bothering me since I'd assume that if any of my family members serve in the military, we will be given the right to view the dead body at the end just like in most of the other countries.

Physically viewing the body allows families closure.

 
Old 10-23-2017, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
528 posts, read 303,782 times
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I don't know the official reason, so take this "with a grain of salt", but with complete respect and reverence for the sacrifice of a fellow Soldier and his family:

If the body was exposed to fire or explosive fragmentation and concussion, it may not be recognizable by visual identification--how is showing a family member this kind of horror going to give closure? I have seen the horrific effects of burning, fragmentation, and large caliber bullet wounds while in combat--it sure hasn't given me any closure after 11 years.

Of course, it could be nothing at all related to the condition of the remains--just consider the psychological effect of viewing remains is not always the path to closure--the science is not as simple as that.

I wouldn't wish this tragedy on anyone, and without "politicizing" anything, the remains MIGHT be beyond recognition.

I will not get any more graphic about it than this--even a single strike to a certain part of human anatomy by something like a 7.62 x 39mm projectile--it haunts forever when you used to know that person.
 
Old 10-23-2017, 01:06 PM
 
8,841 posts, read 13,989,038 times
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It is my understanding that the body is not embalmed prior to shipment, so who want to see and smell that? Bodies are cleaned and embalmed after they make it back state side. Again, according to my understanding, families have the option to view or not view the body before the burial after it is properly cleaned and processed. It is also possible the soldier was mutilated or suffered significant traumatic injury.
 
Old 10-23-2017, 02:43 PM
 
1,050 posts, read 2,479,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
It is my understanding that the body is not embalmed prior to shipment, so who want to see and smell that? .
If your parent/friend/brother or sister died in combat, I don't think a little smell will keep you away from seeing them? it won't keep me away so that reasoning doesn't hold well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVREDLEG View Post

If the body was exposed to fire or explosive fragmentation and concussion, it may not be recognizable by visual identification--how is showing a family member this kind of horror going to give closure?
Thanks. I understand in those circumstances but shouldn't families have RIGHT to view if asked? Also, if visual indentification is not possible, I hope families are provided with DNA data to show that body belong to their loved ones ?

Am only hoping that it be made easier for families to get closure.
 
Old 10-23-2017, 03:01 PM
Status: "Laughing at Luna!! :)" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
3,745 posts, read 5,489,308 times
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In this specific case the soldier could not be found for 2 days. No telling what happened or what condition his body was in.

I think normally you can view the decedent though.
 
Old 10-23-2017, 03:02 PM
 
1,050 posts, read 2,479,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTLightning View Post

I think normally you can view the decedent though.
Thanks. Good to know.
 
Old 10-23-2017, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Secure, Undisclosed
1,912 posts, read 1,020,553 times
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I've done this before.

Sometimes the condition of the remains is such that you recommend the family not view the body. The last time I did this, it was a gunshot wound to the face - the man was completely unrecognizable. In addition to the unspeakable gore that such violence wreaks upon the human body, we also take into consideration whether the last memory the next-of-kin has of their loved one is the bloody violence that took his or her life, not the smiling, happy kid they raised or married.

Still, it was, and always remains, the next-of-kin's decision.

My recollection of my last case is that the father still viewed the man's remains, but the rest of the family did not.

This also included cases were there literally isn't a body left - such as certain aircraft accidents or explosions. I know of cases where the remains were literally wet spots on the ground, which we collected. Again, the family was advised not to view the box of mud, but if they wanted to, we would arrange as dignified a setting as we could to allow them to do so.

Last edited by Rescue3; 10-23-2017 at 05:54 PM..
 
Old 10-23-2017, 05:48 PM
 
Location: The wild horse filled region of Atropia.
67 posts, read 25,165 times
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Moderator cut: Off topic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tampaite View Post

Physically viewing the body allows families closure.
Viewing military casualties in certain conditions will often cause a family more distress than closure.

Last edited by Oldhag1; Today at 05:05 PM..
 
Old 10-23-2017, 05:55 PM
 
5,171 posts, read 6,875,079 times
Reputation: 5339
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
It is my understanding that the body is not embalmed prior to shipment, so who want to see and smell that? Bodies are cleaned and embalmed after they make it back state side. Again, according to my understanding, families have the option to view or not view the body before the burial after it is properly cleaned and processed. It is also possible the soldier was mutilated or suffered significant traumatic injury.
That’s incorrect. They have to be to cross state lines, so I’m sure they have to be to come into the country. His body most likely went to Germany before coming home.
 
Old 10-23-2017, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
12,156 posts, read 39,597,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTLightning View Post
In this specific case the soldier could not be found for 2 days. No telling what happened or what condition his body was in.

I think normally you can view the decedent though.
My understanding is that this is what happened here. It's a situation with no good options, you just have to pick the least undesirable (to you) of several options.

I *think* if the wife had asked to view "anyway", her desires would have been honored, perhaps after warning her that maybe she should not, but if she insisted, they would open the casket for her.

Bringing home the dead has to be some of the hardest duty out there.
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