It may seem like a gruesome subject, but spare a thought for the men and women who prepare their fallen comrades for their final journey home. This article by Elaine Wilson from the American Forces Press Service tells the touching story of the mortuary unit at Dover Air Force Base. I don’t know details of the equivalent Canadian Forces unit or service, but I’m sure they exist and do just as good work. MP+

It’s a mission they will undertake with dignity, honor and respect in mind, and with only one acceptable goal: perfection.

“It’s a heavy toll our nation has paid on this, and these are the men and women who have borne the cost,” said Air Force Col. Robert H. Edmondson, the center’s commander. “We owe our best every time and in every way.”

Read the whole piece here.

Air Force Master Sgt. Tracy Bailey cleans a dog tag at the personal effects section of the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Feb. 25, 2010. It’s Bailey’s job to clean the personal belongings that arrive with a fallen servicemember’s remains. U.S. Air Force photo