DOVER AFB: One of the Fallen

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U.S. Air Force personnel transfer the remains of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip A. Myers on Dover Air Force Base, Del., Sunday April 5. In addition to allowing media coverage of returning war dead (with families’ consent) under its new policy, the Pentagon also released its own photographs of the ceremonies.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

President George H. W. Bush banned the media from photographing the caskets of U.S. soldiers killed in the first Gulf War in 1991. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates lifted the ban in February.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

Myers, of Hopewell, Va., died April 4, 2009, from wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device near Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 48th Civil Engineer Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

Myers was the first of nearly 5,000 soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to be photographed by the media while being transferred home in a flag-covered casket.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

Though neither President Clinton nor President Bush challenged the ban, Clinton made an exception following a 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole which killed 17 U.S. sailors.

Newscom/UPI

Under the new policy, the soldier’s family can decide whether to admit the media to photograph the fallen soldier. During the transfer, photographers refrained from using flash photography.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

Myers served in Operation Enduring Freedom, the official name used by the U.S. government to refer to the War in Afghanistan.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

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