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Soldiers mugging around empty casket sparks furor

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin National Guard announced Tuesday that it had suspended a member from honor guard duties after she apparently posted to social media a photograph of soldiers mugging around an empty, flag-draped casket.

The group photograph taken at a National Guard training facility in Arkansas sparked a furor on Facebook, in military chatrooms and other social media, where people saw it as disrespectful of veterans and those killed in action. The National Guard said it was taking steps to protect the soldier who posted the photograph after she received death threats.

The photo originally posted on Instagram shows about a dozen soldiers clowning around a casket draped in a flag. Several hug playfully. One flashes a peace sign.

The caption reads, "We put the FUN in funeral — your fearless honor guard from various states."

The photo was posted from an account belonging to Spc. Terry Harrison of the Madison, Wis.-based 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment, according to the National Guard.

Harrison has been suspended from the honor guard and assigned to other duties while an investigation is ongoing, the Wisconsin National Guard said.

Spc. Terry Harrison received death threats for this photo of soldiers around a flag-draped casket at a training facility.

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Spc. Terry Harrison received death threats for this photo of soldiers around a flag-draped casket at a training facility.

Soldiers mugging around empty casket sparks furor 02/18/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:25am]
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