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Apr 06,2009
Slain U.S. soldier's return broadcast
by UPI

DOVER, Del. -- Recently reinstated media coverage won't change the dignity of the "welcome home" slain U.S. soldiers receive at Dover Air Force Base, honor guard members say.

The Obama administration this year moved to rescind an 18-year-old ban on news coverage of ceremonies performed at the Delaware air base when the bodies of fallen service members are returned to the United States, if family members agree to allow it.

Sunday's arrival of a flag-draped casket bearing the body of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip A. Myers, 30, of Hopewell, Va., killed Saturday in Afghanistan, was broadcast to a worldwide audience and featured the silent presence of members of the Army's Old Guard, who performed the "dignified transfer" of Myers' body, The Washington Post reported.

The media coverage "won't change anything we do," Old Guard member Spec. Johnny Bowers, 26, told the Post.

"It doesn't matter what the conditions are like -- cold, wet, sunny," added Sgt. James Rhett. "They're a fallen soldier and they deserve the highest respect and honor we can give."

Myers died in an explosion of a makeshift bomb. Air Force officials said he was attached to the 48th Civil Engineer Squadron posted in Britain.

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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