Media allowed as Del. soldier's body returns

    The remains of another soldier killed in Iraq arrived at Dover Air Force Base Tuesday afternoon. It’s been about two weeks since the Pentagon lifted its 18-year-ban on media covering the return of fallen US service members. The media, the base, and the families are still getting used to the new policy.

    The remains of another soldier killed in Iraq arrived at Dover Air Force Base Tuesday afternoon. It’s been about two weeks since the Pentagon lifted its 18-year-ban on media covering the return of fallen US service members. The media, the base, and the families are still getting used to the new policy.

    Listen:
    [audio: reports20090415doverafb.mp3]

    Since the policy change on April 5, there have been five dignified transfers involving nine fallen service members. So far, no family has denied media coverage.

    Major Paul Villagran of the United States Air Force.

    Villagran: The priorities are to protect their privacy. Obviously do what they want us to do, to respect their wishes so if they consent to media then we’ll try to make that happen so it doesn’t impact the dignity of the transfer but they can still have the option of going out there and grieving in their own way while maintaining that privacy.

    The policy change has come with a long list of rules for the media, including no shots of family members. So far, base officials say there have been no problems.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.