US Military Changes How it Brings Soldiers' Bodies Home After a Father's Complaint

By: AP edited by Harrison Hove Email
By: AP edited by Harrison Hove Email

UNDATED (AP) _ The way America's fallen troops are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan has changed.

Instead of ordinary commercial flights, the caskets return on charter jets and are met with honor guards in white gloves instead of by baggage handlers.

The change, which quietly took effect in January, came after the father of a fallen soldier complained about his son potentially being unloaded like ordinary luggage.

Now, the military is flying the dead into smaller regional airports closer to their hometowns, so that they can be met by their families and, in some cases, receive community tributes.

The company that won the Pentagon contract to bring the war dead home has returned 143 bodies since the first of the year.

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