Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

Military Funerals are NOT family reunions!!!

Posted by fozzynok on 09/28/2012

Here comes another topic that will probably get me on some shorter list of being someone’s favorite as I have already told a few people what they could do and where they can do it and their either complete ignorance or carelessness as it relates to them taking and or posting pictures of the families of the fallen during the services. Next to taking and posting pictures of dead or dying military men and women, this is unquestionably the most disrespectful, heartless and voyeuristic thing that anyone could do! 

This came up as a topic last week for me as there was yet another “nonprofit” military support page that posted an absolutely heart breaking pictures of a young woman who was standing at the rear of a hearse with a flag draped coffin in it. I KNOW what this woman was going through at the moment and a damned good idea what she was feeling and if you have not gone through this  then you simply have no idea what it is like! I do not care if you’ve been in the military for a thousand years or how much you supposedly “care”.

 I think if you have not gotten specific and direct permission from the immediate family, taking pictures at military funerals is barbaric and depending on the person doing so, completely self-serving. I do not understand what the desire or motivation would to take pictures of other people and even strangers going through what people go through at these ceremonies.

I got into a scrap the other night with the person who posted the photo (and many more) on his “support” page.  He could not wrap his head around the fact that this is an intrusion of someone’s privacy in probably the absolute worst moments of their lives. He told me that he has been doing this for three years and that he scans the internet for over ten hours a day for pictures like this. I told him that these were very disrespectful to the families and he then told me that he posts these pictures to “elicit emotions and create support”. Did I mention that this man runs a non-profit? Hmmm… Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why he’s really posting these pictures.

I kept up with that site for a few more hours just seeing what he was posting and was posted back (He blocked me of course) and it was pretty damned amazing when he went into victim mode. He had been attacked by a gold star family and was “really hurt”. Well isn’t that too damn bad? Trying to explain to the selfish ass that these pictures are NOT done out of anything but a means of cash flow to him was an “attack”. His supporters came out of the woodwork of course tell him that they of course would certainly be proud as peacocks to allow photographers to take pictures of them at their son’s funeral “if it ever happened of course” If any of these people had to sit and the side of their son’s flag draped coffin while parasitic humans snapped pictures of them.. I think they would feel differently

Then a supposed veteran who has had “family members in every American war since the revolution” told my wife to “Fuck off” because he knew more that her about what is honorable and proper at military funerals. There were plenty of others who chimed in to tell the rest how they were certain that these pictures bring no pain to anyone and are a wonderful way for us to remember the day… REALLY? Does anyone actually think that we would forget that day? Does anyone think that we’d drag the photos out and share them and have a good time reminiscing of the day we buried our oldest son?

So let me tell some of you people something. If you are in the mindset that taking or posting of pictures of mourning family members at the FIRST moments that they lay eyes on their returning son’s coffin being pulled from a plane, or photographing the family members during the moments of the LAST time they will every lay eyes on their son before the place him in the ground.. You’re an ignorant, selfish moron who WILL never understand how evil and morally bankrupt that you are! 

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5 Responses to “Military Funerals are NOT family reunions!!!”

  1. KJ said

    Hi Steven,

    Before we get any further into this, I am a Gold Star mom and a friend of Angelia’s on FB. I wanted that to be clear.

    That being said, I think we are all different in how we remember things from that day. I asked 3 different people to take pictures for me and, if I had had the money, I would have gotten a videographer. If not for the pictures, I would remember nothing at all…..that is the way my memory works. I did tell them to please not take pictures of my son in his casket, since it was open. I know my family respected this but I am not sure about his wife’s family.

    As for strangers taking pictures of someone they do not know, without permission and posting them for their own benefit, I fully agree with you! That is an envasion of privacy and totally disgusting! You were very much in the right on that score. And if I find pictures of my son’s funeral anywhere that I didn’t give permission, I would persue that to the fullest.

    I was curious, though. Angelia informed me that we can not expect any privacy on Facebook and that people can use our intellectual property at a whim. Is this true? And if so, if the pictures were coming from the public sector, say a newspaper, are they considered different? I am not trying to say that the guy on that page isn’t a weasel…..I am saying that if this is true, then our privacy is out of our hands where the internet is concerned.

    Thank you,

    KJ Allen
    Mother of SGT John E. Allen
    KIA 17March2007, Ghazaliyah, Iraq

    • Angelia said

      Here is the difference Kellie.. YOU ASKED for the pictures… most of the pictures being shared on the internet were taken with out permission or the knowledge they would be publicly used to raise funds for questionable non-profits.

    • fozzynok said

      I was also clear though.. I understand that there will be some people who WANT a close friend or someone to photograph their services. My main objection is to the people on the net (Facebook in the latest case) who take these pictures and post them for their own amusement and for the amusement of other ghouls out there who get off on watching other people’s pain and projecting themselves into the situation. No different that watching slasher films.. these people love the feeling of being voyeurs in other people’s pain. And for some to try and make money off of it (and they do) is just about as sinister as it gets to me. Like the photos of the dying Marine a few years ago.. its horrible and its unthinkable to me that news sources and bloggers would put that out completely against the will of the family.

      • Angelia said

        That Marine was Joshua Bernard… I will never forget his name.. His father is John Bernard. His battle to keep his son’s dying moment private was heart wrenching.

  2. […] By Steven Phillips A Gold Star Dad Blog […]

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