Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Military investigating mortuary employee for incident involving body of astronaut John Glenn

John Glenn Military investigating mortuary employee for incident involving body of astronaut John Glenn
Sandy Vega | 27 May, 2017, 10:02

Air Force officials are investigating whether a military base mortuary employee allowed other people to view John Glenn's remains following allegations from a Pentagon official, according to a military newspaper report.

Ryder said that the inspectors declined the offer and didn't view the remains, according to the Defense Department.

Reports say an investigation is underway in to what officials said was "clearly inappropriate and personally shocking" behaviour. Glenn died in December at the age of 95.

According to the memo, the two inspectors declined to see the American icon, who became the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962.

His family reportedly asked the Air Force to care for his remains and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with military honors. After that investigation is complete, the service says it will decide if any "corrective actions" are necessary.

This Memorial Day weekend, as Americans honor those who served their country, an Air Force mortician is being accused of disrespecting one of our greatest military heroes: space pioneer John Glenn.

Zwicharowski helped reveal that the Dover mortuary had mishandled the remains of some fallen military service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

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The inspectors were at the facility to determine whether it was in compliance with DOD procedures and policies. "If allegations of misconduct are substantiated, those involved will be held accountable".

The Military Times reports that William Zwicharowski, the mortuary's chief, made the offer to the inspectors twice, on February 28 and on March 2.

In a statement Friday, an Air Force spokesman, Col. Patrick Ryder, said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson directed the military branch's inspector general's office to investigate the allegations.

In her memo, Skillman alleged that Zwicharowski had been "counseled by his chain of command the regarding the inappropriate nature" of his first offer, but then repeated it. The employee has been re-assigned and is not being named by the Air Force.

Skillman wrote that Zwicharowski made comments suggesting he thought that the inspection was being conducted in reprisal for his involvement in the whistleblower scandal.

" 'I was proud of the job we did and wanted them to see our care and work, ' he said".

Zwicharowski said he does not recall any negative reaction from inspection team members.

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