Air Force Probing Casket Gag

Tasteless photo angers military
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2011 12:44 AM CST
Updated Dec 16, 2011 1:03 AM CST
Air Force Probing Casket Gag
This photo was taken by airmen with the 345th Training Squadron at Fort Lee, Va., the Air Force says.   (Facebook/Air Force Times)

(Newser) – Dumb: Posing for a joke photo with the kind of casket used to bring war dead back to the US. Dumber: Putting it on Facebook. The Air Force is investigating a photograph of airmen posing around a casket in which a colleague wrapped in chains plays dead with a noose around his neck. The photo was sent to the Air Force Times by an appalled sergeant who had been alerted by a former soldier who spotted it on a friend's Facebook page.

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"I cannot help but picture the faces of dead that we drug out of burning vehicles, dug out from collapsed buildings,” the sergeant wrote, saying that the photo—plus the news that the remains of hundreds of troops had been dumped in a Virginia landfill—made him fear that the Air Force could not be trusted with the remains of his men. Such behavior "is not representative of the airmen I know," Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said in a statement. "It saddens me that this may cause additional grief to the families of our fallen warriors." (Read more Michael Donley stories.)

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