Press Allowed to Witness Return of Dead Service Member

Afghanistan casualty's return first to be covered since end of 18-year-old ban
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 3:22 AM CDT
Press Allowed to Witness Return of Dead Service Member
The casket of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers, of Hopewell, Va., is carried by an honor guard on Sunday, April 5, 2009 in Dover Air Force Base, Del. After receiving permission from the family, Myers is the first casualty to be observed arriving at Dover since the ban on media news coverage of returning...   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The press was allowed to cover the return of a fallen US soldier last night for the first time since President Obama lifted an 18-year-old ban, the Washington Post reports. The family of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers, who was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan Saturday, gave permission for the media to be there as required under the new policy.

Myers' widow and other family members were in attendance along with members of the press as the flag-draped transfer case containing his body was transferred from a military Boeing 747. The Old Guard soldiers who perform the ceremony to welcome back war dead say the new attention will not affect the solemn ritual. "We always strive for perfection," said one. "It doesn't matter who's watching us."
(More Dover Air Force Base stories.)

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