The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 2, 1997 · Page 18
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 18

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 2, 1997
Page 18
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18A THE PALM BEACH POST TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1997 ivm itarv puts linnnr oiiarrlfi for many veterans' funerals The Washington Post ality was the numbers wouldn't allow us to continue. Our concern was that we'd allow ourselves to be strung out so thin that we wouldn't be able to do a good job." To veterans like George Lussier, chairman of the Potomac Region Veterans Council, which raises funds for ceremonies at Quantico National Cemetery, the I WASHINGTON -On a crisp, sunny day in late October, Fred Connor's family gathered to bury him. The 56-year-old Vietnam veteran recently succumbed to cancer and his family wanted a proper send-off. But after the long, white hearse rolled slowly through the gates of Quantico National Cemetery in northern Virginia, things didn't unfold as they expected. ! The military honors team Do You Suffer From Drriftable Bowel Syndrome? (a.k.a. Spastic Colon) This is a motility disorder involving the small and large intestine associated with variable degrees of abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea, largely as a reaction to stress in a susceptible individual. Before now, patients were typically treated only symptomatically with antispasmotics, tranquilizers, sedatives and or antidepressants. Our-research has made the discovery that food sensitivities and intestinal bacterial, fungal and or parasitic infections and their associated immune dysfunctions are frequently causes of IBS. We strive to successfully treat the precise underlying cause of IBS and end the need for long term symptomatic treatment! Call to learn more about our revolutionary new treatment methodology for IBS. Do you have IBS? . This is their fond farewell and they just want to know when their time comes, they will be honored properly for their service. It's not a lot of money and even if it was a lot, so what?' GEORGE LUSSIER Chairman of the Potomac Region Veterans Council change is an outrage. He thinks the military should set up a full-time squad at Quantico and at other national cemeteries to deal solely with funeral services if staff shortages are the problem. "We're talking about someone who never questioned why they up with their rifles and fired three volleys. A bugle player would they thought would carry the casket to the grave site never showed up. Family members finally did it themselves. Then, as the service concluded, they waited in silence for the rifle salutes and the piercing sounds of taps. I Nothing. j Instead, an Army representative arrived, presented a flag to the widow and told the chaplain there would be no bugle player or MINI TEST: CHECK WHICH APPLIES 1. Abnormal Bloating 2. Flatulence 3. Nausea 4. Headache 5. Fatigue 8. Lassitude 9. Depression 10. Anxiety 11. Difficulty With Mental Concentration 12. Constipation or Diarrhea went into battle, Lussier said. "Now it's coming to the time when they're passing and we're not doing the right thing for them . . . This is their fond farewell and they just want to know when their time comes, they will be honored properly for their service. It's not a lot of money and even if it was a lot, so what?" The problem the military faces is largely demographic. World War II veterans are aging and starting to pass away in larger numbers. In 1991, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 457,500 veterans died. This year, the number is expected to be 537,000 and it will rise to 620,000 in 10 years. Other branches also are feeling the pinch, but the Army faces the bulk of the problem. Addressing the question last SCORING: If you have 4 or more of the above symptoms, you may have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If so, help finally is only a phone call away. Learn more: Call for a free consultation. rifle detail. Recent cutbacks, he said, did away with such formalities. ! "I was flabbergasted," said Imagene Stewart, a friend of the Connors who officiated at the funeral ceremony. "This man went to Vietnam and you tell me his country can't have someone with a; bugle out there to give him proper military rites? He didn't resist when he was called upon and that's the way he gets treated? ... You don't do that to our men." For decades in the Washington region, bereaved families of honorably discharged Army veterans could count on the 3rd U.S. Infantry known as the "Old Guard" to help lay their loved ones to rest. But 18 months ago, local Army officials, faced with defense downsizing and increasing demands from the aging World War II generation, decided they no longer could provide the service. have sounded taps while a supervisor and an alternate watched. But in recent years, the Army has been finding it difficult to maintain the tradition. Staff re- ductions made it more difficult to commit a team to travel for hours to a remote area, taking nearly a dozen men away from other duties. And the number of requests kept rising: In 1987, the Old Guard attended 3,543 funerals, including the ones in Arlington National Cemetery. This past budget year they presided over 4,400 ceremonies, and the demand is expected to continue growing. The squeeze is being felt nationwide, but is especially acute in places with high concentrations of veterans, such as Washington. Under the new policy in the Washington region, the Army decided it would do what was required under Department of Defense guidelines full honors for active military members and Medal of Honor recipients. Teams also would be sent to the funerals of retirees with 20 years or more of active duty. Other veterans would have at least one military representative to present a flag to the family. "We saw that we just couldn't keep up with the pace," said Tom Groppel, director of ceremonies and special events for the U.S. Military District of Washington. "We wanted to perform the service in the worst way. But the re MEDICINE Jon VanCleave, R.Ph., D.O. B"W""HB year, the Army's Casualty and Memorial Affairs Operation Center, which handles burial issues nationwide, decided to continue allowing local commanders to decide if they could field an honor detail to area funerals. But Army officials said that increasingly, those commanders are deciding they don't have the staff. A related problem, officials said, is that Army bands are coming under the budget ax, so bases also are losing the people who can play taps. Harry Campbell, dispositions chief for the operations center, said base commanders sometimes have not been able to send an honor team even to funerals for generals. 561 395-2700 toll free 1-800-492-4448 Free Consultations Mon-Fri by appointment only Glades Tower I, 950 Glades Road Suite 5 Boca Raton, Florida 33431 f""UJ""l MalaaaaMkaaaaal The unit, based at Fort Myer, Va., used to send a 10-member team to the funeral of any eligible veteran in its territory, which includes 25 counties stretching from the District of Columbia to West Virginia. Under the old procedure, a team would have carried Fred Connor's casket. Seven men would have later lined IHl I KIL MsultNtl DFft IW M UU.FR FU MR11U. EAAMIN.MIIINI IHLAIMI NI AimKIMMINI j r l E I r tA .-t 7nnnnii eiinRmmi i r.T.v. i mwtmi . m fit t fl i. Wi 111 r"f ii" B lllflf IIIIULBB II Kill 1 KJI III rsi-Jr.trrrv-AWri m ai wi e a kb,. mi w. b a e m k s be tm mr w. ita be n m e :i w&m br hie -jof- m mism i Ram jawi. m h. e Li it a v a . 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