Public or Private: A Policy Under Review


On the one hand, I didn't want to write about this, for reasons spelled out below. On the other hand, I couldn't ignore the fact that this is a legitimate issue for military spouses and one that many of you clearly feel passionately about. In the end, it was that passion that won out. So, here goes....

I have mentally buried my husband a hundred times. I'm willing to bet you have, too. In fact, if you have and you think you're weird, you're not. Click here to find out why. In the process of mentally preparing my husband's funeral, I always pictured the moment I received his casket to be a solemn and private moment. My husband's remains and me. Sometimes the dog was there. Sometimes he wasn't. I didn't even think about extended family being present. As I wrote long ago:

I would meet my husband's body when it arrived at Dover. I would run myhands over the casket, hug it even, but I would try to remain ascomposed as possible.

After President Obama's news conference Monday, the inevitable happened. The inbox pinged and the commentary began flying at warped speed across the electronic super-highway. I was even asked by a civilian to share my thoughts. In case you missed it, a reporter asked President Obama if he would push for a change in the current policy which bans access by the media to Dover Air Force Base when our fallen heroes arrive home. Secretary Gates has ordered a review of the policy.

Here's why I didn't want to write about this. This topic has political overtones and we never, ever touch politics here at SpouseBUZZ. I know regular readers understand this, and there's never an issue with them, but we acquire new readers all the time, so I always feel the need to spell that out.

With that said, I'd like to know, in non-political terms, what you think about this policy. Do you prefer the current policy to stand? Would you mind sharing the moment you received the remains of your spouse with the world? Please do not use this thread to launch into political attacks. Let's deal with our feelings and preferences, not who is responsible for making or changing the policy.

As for me, I think I would order my dog to poop on the shoes of anyone who chose to intrude on such a horrendous, solemn and private moment. I think this is a decision best left to the families of the fallen. War is many, many things, and a photograph of a flag-draped coffin, powerful though it is, can never capture the many dimensions of war. Which is something that the families of roughly one percent of the population truly understand.

Update: There's a poll here if you care to vote.

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