I am appalled at the news from the Wisconsin National Guard and their idea of a good time. There are fewer things more sacred than a military funeral, and to serve on the honor guard is not just any ordinary detail.
I am tired of people making excuses for Soldiers who post stupid shit online. The “kids will be kids” excuse does NOT apply to service members – especially service members charged with honoring our fallen comrades. In my humble opinion, every Soldier in that photo should be discharged immediately. They are not fit to serve our Country and they have proven that they are not fit to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during or after their service. There is simply NO EXCUSE for this type of behavior. None.
For those who are defending these Soldiers, I implore you to go attend a military service and watch a family receive a “small token” for their loved ones sacrifice. Listen to the roll call as the First Sergeant calls out the name of the deceased, and listen to the silence as there is no answer. Watch as the loved ones receive the American Flag to remind them of the sacrifice their loved one made; think about how you would feel receiving a flag instead of having your loved one home for dinner. Listen to the eerie haunting sounds as the bugler plays Taps. Go and see if it is something you think is funny.
Funeral details and Fallen Comrade Ceremonies are emotionally taxing (if you are human) and working them does take it’s toll on the service members who perform them. There is a reason you don’t do them as a permanent position. Making light of the service though is inexcusable on so many levels I can’t even begin to cover them all here.
I was never able to serve on a funeral detail. I turn into a crying heap of a person. I don’t have to know who it was that passed, but I absorb the grief of their family and friends, their brothers and sisters in arms, and become so emotional at the weight of the sacrifice that I can’t breathe. To think of someone making light of this in any way angers me on a level that I have never felt before.
In many situations service members will laugh at things others find offensive. It falls under the “if we don’t laugh, we will cry” category and it is for some a coping mechanism. However saying, “We put the fun in funeral” and posting it online with a disrespectful photo in front of a flag draped coffin is the benchmark for callousness, complete lack of respect and the sign of depraved minds. I can’t believe that all of these Soldiers posed for this and no one spoke up to stop it. Absolutely fucking disgraceful.
For those families who have lost loved ones during service, I am sorry for these people who tarnished your memories. Though their coffin was empty – yours was not. The difference is that there is no difference. They stole a precious memory from you and I can not begin to imagine your grief. Please know that most service members see funeral detail and honor guard service as an honor. Most take it as seriously as anything else they have ever done in their lives. Most will cry with you as you mourn. Decent people would never tarnish such a sacred event and I hope that you can find it in your hearts to remember your loved ones service without this haunting you. Your sacrifice for our Country is nothing to laugh about. It is nothing to make light of in any way. There is no excuse for the actions of these sociopaths in uniform.