Washington, D.C. —Representative Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, spoke on the House floor today in support of a colleague who was approached by a reporter calling the process for returning the remains of America’s fallen heroes a waste of money and resources.
In 2006, former-Congressman Duncan Hunter initiated the change in law after learning from San Diego resident, John Holley, whose son was killed in Iraq, that fallen servicemembers were being transported home in the cargo-holds of commercial aircraft. Current law now requires military or military-approved transport and honor guard escort.
“This is an issue that resonates with anyone who has worn a uniform or any family that has had to receive the remains of a loved one,” said Hunter. “This change in law is about dignity and respect. Now our fallen heroes have a dignified return and are no longer treated as cargo. As they should be, they are handled by honor guards—not forklifts.
“It’s harsh but true: People who question the necessity of this process need to examine their soul and ask themselves if they are worthy of the freedoms that are protected and secured by our military heroes. There’s no extravagant cost. No luxury accommodations. Those who pay for our freedom with their lives deserve to be treated with respect and handled as the heroes they are.
“We can find savings in the budget—but the idea that someone would suggest the way we treat our war dead is a waste of money and resources should be ashamed.”
Click here to view Hunter’s floor remarks.