More Mishandled Troop Remains Revealed

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A recent report says the remains of many more troops have been dumped in a Virginia landfill than the military originally acknowledged.

The Washington Post says the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops were sent to the King George County Landfill in Virginia. The report was based on information at the Dover Air Base mortuary, where the remains of most war dead are sent.

"It's not just that they're stonewalling people who ask," Democratic Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey said of queries made by him, as well as families, investigators, about Air Force mortuary practices. "I think they don't want to face up to it."

The families of the dead authorized the military to dispose of the remains respectfully and with dignity. They were unaware of the landfill dumping, and Air Force officials told the Post they have no plans now to alert the families.

"We regret any additional grief to families that past practices may have caused," Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, deputy chief of staff for manpower, told reporters, emphasizing that the practice has ended.

Military policy did not formally authorize the practice. The mortuary has handled the remains of more than 6,300 troops since 2001.

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