For seven years, the Department of Defense has faked repatriations where military personnel carry honored dead soldiers off of planes as part of their ceremonial return to the U.S.
While the Pentagon insists the coffins indeed contain the remains of MIA soldiers returned to America from foreign wars, it now admits that the Hawaii arrival ceremonies often attended by a tearful audience aren’t actually arrivals at all.
In fact, the coffins are toted out of planes that can no longer even fly, but must be towed onto the runway for the phony ceremonies and the remains have sometimes been back in the country for months.
The ceremonies are handled by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, an agency charged with recovering some 83,000 missing service men and women from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
Until now, agency has allowed the public to believe that flag-draped boxes pulled from C-17 military planes contained the rediscovered dead from those countries.
But the Pentagon acknowledged to NBC News Wednesday that, in fact, the remains had only just been removed from a lab at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu.
Now, the events will be known as ‘honor ceremonies.’
JPAC identifies around 80 soldiers per year. After their ceremonies — during which buglers play Taps and audience members sing the Star Spangled Banner following a chaplain’s prayer — the remains are returned to the lab.
A military official thanks attendees for ‘welcoming them home’ before they ‘begin the identification process.’