Monday, February 02, 2015

Private moments helped shape Obama’s education about war

By Greg Jaffe — February 1 — WashPost

Air Force One, its windows blacked out to guard against attack, touched down in Afghanistan well after dark.

President Obama’s war-zone visits are usually short and ceremonial. In his six hours on the ground, he appeared alongside Afghanistan’s leader, pinned Purple Hearts on the wounded and spoke to a hangar full of U.S. troops.

But Obama also made time for something else, something personal. Just after 2 a.m., the president slipped away for a meeting that he had deliberately kept off his public schedule.

In a small, private room, 15 mortuary affairs soldiers waited to greet him. These were the soldiers who prepared the bodies of troops killed in battle for their trip home. To blunt the overpowering stench of death, they wore masks when they worked, burned their uniforms regularly and dabbed Vicks VapoRub under their noses.

(More here.)

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