Columnist: Ditch Funeral Honors for Non-Hero Vets

In respect and honor

“Bear in mind that most veterans did nothing heroic. They served, and that’s laudable, but it hardly seems necessary to provide them all with military honors after they have died.”

This is the argument offered by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bill McClellan in his recent column on why the federal government should no longer provide military funeral honors to veterans.

Give honors only to those who have died in combat, he writes. If others want honors they should look to their veterans organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VWF) to provide them.

“Everybody knows government needs to cut costs,” he writes. “This is exactly how you do it. You identify things you don’t need, and you cut them.”

McClellan bases his knowledge of the lack of heroism in veterans off his own experience in Vietnam.

“I did nothing heroic. Nor did any of my close friends. But I knew people who did, and it devalues the real heroes to say that everybody was one,” he writes. “If everybody is a hero, nobody is.”

I can see how he arrived at this conclusion. He’s saying that in a drafted military you are there because you have no other choice.

But he’s still way off target.

Vietnam or not– not everybody is a hero. But we know that everyone who served IS. Plenty of drafted men didn’t even show up, placing those who did in a different category. And enduring scorn after homecoming, as our many Vietnam Vet commenters will happily tell you, is no joke either.

McClellan doesn’t think he’s a hero. But isn’t humility one of the marks of heroism?

And in today’s wars, again, certainly not everybody is a hero. Less than one percent of Americans volunteer to serve. That makes more than 99 percent of Americans (with the obvious exclusion of our firefights and cops who are heroes in their own right) excluded from this category.

Ninety-nine percent of Americans are not heroes. One percent are heroes just by virtue of volunteering for the risk of war.

Not everybody is a hero. Just the one percent.

The other problem with McClellan’s argument is the question of how you define “hero.”

McClellan says that the real heroes are the ones who have given up actual life. And there’s no question about it – that is the highest sacrifice.

But we know from personal experience that plenty who have served have given all but their life. Some have given some or all their limbs. Some have given their ability to think, to remember, to function. Some have given their mental health. Our heroes have given their hearing, they’re skeletal integrity, their ability to walk without a limp, going a week without combat dreams and many more things the 99 percent takes for granted.

We know that the military’s citation and awards programs are imperfect at best. Plenty of acts of heroism go unrecognized or unreported. So even saying “only give honors to those who have been recognized as earning it” would miss the mark.

Yes, we have to cut costs. And yes, the way you do it is by cutting things you don’t need.

Do veterans NEED full honors at their funeral? Probably not. But America NEEDS military veterans. And there’s no price you can put on that.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of’s spouse and family blog A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

708 Comments on "Columnist: Ditch Funeral Honors for Non-Hero Vets"

  1. i am no vet nor am i a soldier, but i plan to be, being in combat and having that constant threat of an ambush or attach and the possible lose of life handing over your head is a good enough reason for me to give soldiers and vets alike honors. Weither they havent done anything heroic or not they ricked there life to protect this country jsut by being out there, they deserve some kind of honor

    • Enough has been taken from our military by this Administration. Pay, Health Insurance and even down to serving them one meal a day in combat. They deserve their honors. What we need to do to save money is clean out Congress, senate and Whte House. Put in new Leaders at reasonable saliries, not pay for vacations for President and Families, not allow PAC's and Pork in our system. Pay Senators and Congressmen $50,000 a year plus fifty cents a mile travel money to and from Washington, D.C. Require them to be present for 90% of the votes and jail any Wahington leader including the President if caught taking bribes for a minimum of 25 years. Also Limit President and Senate and House to four year terms.

    • I am a Vietnam Vet (served in Nam Oct 1967 until Christmas day 1969) I received the Bronze star defending this pukes way of life. I deserve to be buried with honors and every Vet deserves the same. We served when asked, we were prepared to give up our lives in defense of this country and the sacrifices were many. The very least this country can do is pay homage to those who did serve whether as a cook or a corp man. People like this author ought to be placed at the mercy of the vets so he can personally feel the wrath from us. Believe me it would not be kind of gentle.

    • Maria Fuller | April 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm |

      Well, I hope you're going into the infantry, Mr. Boettcher. Or some place where your inability to write using proper grammar and spelling won't be as evident and such an affront to people who do write proper English. How did you graduate from high school or obtain a GED with such a lack of basic writing skills? Unless you communicate better orally than you do in writing, you're an embarrassment to us, And even in the infantry, there may be situations when you need to be able to speak or write or, God forbid, follow or respond to written instructions. I wonder if you'll be able to do that? From your post above, it doesn't appear so.

    • Shawn George | April 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm |

      Ms. Fuller,
      Although you may be correct in your observation of Boettcher's spelling & grammar usage; your written response show a lack of intellect on the subject matter that Mr. Boettcher is addressing. I have served in combat multiple times over a thirteen year career in the US Army. Military honors are not for people like yourself. Words like "honor" and "duty" are used by many, such as yourself to degrade people, not to up lift them.
      Mr. Boettcher, if you happen to read this; know that, although spelling & grammar use is VERY important, so is the understanding that "freedom is not free". I commend you for a desire to serve your fellow countrymen/women, even if some of them would rather insult you for typo's, rather than commend the fact that you are willing to possible place yourself in danger for those same people. You sir do understand the true meaning of words such as "honor" & "duty"!

    • Paul Gridler | April 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm |

      I also agree that all veterans deserve honors at their burial. Organizations like the American Legion and VFW among others also feel the same way. People sign up and take an oath to serve. It is usually the luck of the draw where they go to do their service. All face the same risks regarding possible assignments. We pour money into projects that benefit others who have not given 3 or 4 years of their life in defense of their country. If we are concerned about wasteful spending, I would suggest looking at other areas and not try and save a few pennies by denying veterans respect at their busrial.

    • C. Blackman | April 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • C. Blackman | April 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Southerner | April 2, 2013 at 6:18 pm |

      I gave 4 years of my life to the USAF while protecting our country from the ussr, during the '60s. Yes this will be my last show of appreciation for what my squadrons did at that time. We
      were not combatants, but just as vital here in the 48s. Southern born and proud or what we did !

    • $220 BILLION given to Egypt, surely our government can afford to honor veterans. Did McClellan figure what the exact savings would be? I would bet not enough to bother with. I'm a Vietnam veteran and my life was forfeit from the moment I set foot in Vietnam until I was back in the USA, and I would do it again in a heart beat,

    • John Baumgartner | April 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm |

      I agree that most vets are not hero's. I served as a Navy corpsman in Vietnam and returned home to finish college and raise a family. The military service was the price I paid for all the successes that came from enjoying veteran's benefits like the GI bill. I was not a hero for doing what most God fearing American should want to do to protect our country. Hero status should be reserved for selfless service, putting others first, especially in times when in harm's way. Serving in the military is an opportunity to learn about ourselves, our country and the role that America plays in the world. How that translates into Heroism is way beyond my ability to comprehend.

    • Proud Navy Veteran | April 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • I am a decorated hero from Viet Nam and my one last mission would be to eliminate McCellan from any kind of public speaking. He is a complete moron.

    • Have you taken any tests required to join the military? You should really work on your grammar and spelling before you do.

    • @ Boettcher – I agree with your common sense approach… Authorities need to focus more on auditing independent contractors for over charging the military for costs on equipment, supplies, etc… I won't be surprised to discover tangible waste of funds right there… Volunteers who opted to protect the people and equipment of this country is priceless – it's not their fault if they didn't get assigned to combat zones – nonetheless, they are readily available…

    • Hopefully you learn how to spell before you take the ASVAB… You're screaming infantry.

      • You people knocking this kid about his grammar and saying it screams infantry obviously don’t know much about the infantry. First the infantry are the most knowledgable job speciality. We have to know our weapons systems, and patrolling, nine lines, call for fire, we have to know radio operators jobs, we have to operate vehicles so we have to know motor pools jobs ect. Maybe things have changed but you can’t get into the infantry as an ASVAB waiver any longer. There is to much knowledge to know. I guess I ll school you on where ASVAB waivers get assigned to. Motor pool and cooks, and waste management. I suggest you guys quit knocking infantry and learn how it works you egotistical dirt bags. My boys in the infantry all ready do everyone else’s job and our own so that tells me we are smarter than you POGS and we have more courage to sacrifice ourself on the frontlines doing real work

    • God and the soldier…all men adore
      In time of war, and not before
      when the war is over
      and all wrongs have been righted
      God is forgotten
      and the old soldier slighted

      things haven't changed any in the last 200 years.

      ECD 1SG, USA, ret

    • scpokrunch | April 3, 2013 at 9:42 pm |

      the military is not just a guy or girl in combat . ti takes a team to get the gi marine sailor or air force into combat. can't fly the plane unless it's fixed fuel and armed up by the people behind the lines. the marine or g.i. can't fight unless the supply clerk orders his ammo. the marines can't land on the beach unless the navy hauls him in there . it's quiet evident that the columnist that wrote this article knows nothing about how the armed forces work together. but as a veteran and a retired sailor i will fight to the death for his right to speak his opinion
      scpo krunch

    • T. Alexander | April 4, 2013 at 9:10 am |

      We are the cloth that underpins the American dream and our way of life. We are those that serve in far away lands 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We are Amecrica's son's and daughter's and defend Her way of life with our very essecence, and when necessary our very lives. Simply stated, the "ONE PERCENTERS" that provide the cover for all the our nation holds sacred…FREEDOM. To the gentlmen I would simply thank him for his service during Vietnam…and let him know that we CONTINUE to carry the torch on behalf of freedom. Cutting a tribute to the small minority that serve only would seem to be a tear in our fabricate for those that WILLINGLY have given their part in service to our nation!

    • I served in the military. I was in the Navy. I worked on Aircraft. I signed up cause it was the right thing to do. To serve my country and do my part in helping our military stay in tip top shape to be on guard 24 hrs a day, and to protect this country and its allies. I was not drafted. I left a job ( Trash Truck Driver ) making at least 700 a week. For the military where I was getting 1200 a month. I left my friends and my family. Which I was okay with trust me. Only if you knew them… haha. But anyways… I was injured while removing and dis-arming an ejection seat for the F-18 super hornet. Which some might say its not dangerous… well it does have a rocket motor on the bottom that crushes your spine each ejection. And your only allowed two in your lifetime. And then there are the explosives attached to it. They might look like M80 fire crackers … but are much more lethal. Accidents can happen. I was injured while removing it. My shipmate lost his footing and slipped on the other side… the ejection seat started to fall back into the cockpit… and locked up and tried to stop it. I did, but at the cost of fracturing my spine, rupturing a disc, and herniating one as well. I might not of lost a limb, I might not of been to combat. But my life will only get worse as each year passes. My discs in my spine are crushed now from that accident. Sometimes I cant even bend over to tie my shoes. But seeing that I am only 30 yrs old… The VA says to deal with, take motrin… and what not. I am not eligible for surgery either. Cause I am young. I dont consider my self a hero. I just was doing the right thing. For 6 months my roommate in the barracks had to tie my shoes, had to help me pull up my pants, because of the nerve pain that I had. it would bring tears to my eyes. And now … I cant find work. I cant do a labor job. No one wants to hire me for an office job. But what hurt me the most was what the naval doctor said when I was discharged. I asked her ” what kind of work should i do when I get out …? ” she stated ” Its hard to say, possibly a secretarial position, some at a desk, were you dont have to move or really lift anything. ” . But can I support a family on that…? And who or what business is gonna hire me for a secretary position… Im no leonardo dicrapio. I only get 40% disability for my injuries. I am truly thankful for that. And I also know…. that many more have gone before me and do so much more in the military & for this country. But if you are gonna say… that my injury does deserve at least a military burial…. If I wouldnt of joined… it never would of happened. My credit is screwed from not really having an income and having bills from when I was discharged. My love life sucks… cause what responsible adult woman wants to date a guy who is 30 and is struggle to put gas in his car. I am an honorable man with morals. I still try and help others…. even total strangers. Cause its the right thing to do. I bet this columnist doesn’t do diddly when it comes to being a generous to people he doesn’t know. And if he donates money… its prolly just for the tax right off. Not cause he is more fortunate then others… and it would be the right thing to do to help those in need. But what can I say… this is America. ” The country that helps the rich stay rich, and makes the poor struggle. ” . I know I am gonna die a poor man one day. But to those that have lost a limb, or suffered severe injuries while serving help them. They truly deserve it. And for myself… I’ll find my own way. Everyone have a safe weekend. Thank you for your time. God Bless the founding fathers of the United States of America. When morals and honor meant something. good night.

    • Jerry Alexander | April 6, 2013 at 1:22 am |
  2. Did they put their hand up and swear an oath to protect and defend? Did they do more than the other 99%? then they deserve all the respect they can be given. I am so disgusted by this man's "penny pinching" at the expense of those who served.

    • Quit giving money away over seas and bang, financial debt solved. The Country would be out of debt in 2 years.

    • Exactly.. what makes a "hero" in the miltiary generally isn't really subject to how brave etc someone is, since your average Medal of Honor awardee sure didn't plan on doing what they did to get it, it was just part of the job and something that had to be done. Can everyone do that, no of course not, but you would be surprised at how many of our country's finest be they drafted or volunteers would do what it takes to be come a "hero".

      • Uhhh, just what exactly is an "average CMH awardee"? No such thing and if you meet one that is still with us, you'd know it was an honor to render a salute as appropriate.

    • Brenda Christina | April 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm |

      My husband was a 38 year vet of the Air Force/Air National Guard. He took extra trips whenever he could, spending 3 mo. on a "closed" air base in Saudi Arabia, and other trips. Was he a hero? In my eyes, yes, he was-he served his country, protecting our freedoms, gave up his own freedom to be away from his family to do that. When he died at 60, he was very hard of hearing (worked around air planes all the time), his back & knees were bad-all from serving our country. He deserved every bit of the full military funeral that he got. The honor guards at the funeral were not paid for, but the rest of his funeral did cost! And I would do it again today! This reporter was way off base!

    • Jane Horton-Leasman | April 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm |

      Note he sure doesn't "penny pinch" when it comes to his girl's Spring break and their heavy personal expense we taxpayers have to absorb. He doesn't even flinch from criticism. Sickening!

    • Indeed. I am no hero, and I served, but then, it was Cold War Germany and there was constant tension at that time, particularly in the ADA on the borders, where I was stationed.
      There were others who have served in war time, but not on theline, but through their supportive service allowed the real decorated heroes the support necessary to perform at the heroic level. Then there are the unsung heroes, who will never talk about what they did, and received no medals, or hid them away.

      Yeah, we COULD pinch pennies on the veterans funerals, but it would be a grave disservice, saving far less than cutting out, say, the over-the-top expenditures the Obama and Biden families are spending on lavish vacations, parties, and campaign stops.

      People who would stop honoring the heroes of our military have little clue why our nation needs such heroes. The writer may have served, but it sounds like he was a REMF.

    • Bill McClellan should give up his pay or take a cut in pay to help fill up the cuts needed.

    • Vern Turner | April 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm |

      If This simple minded person wants to cut cost . Lets start wit obama vacations At last count 2
      MILLION or bumblin joe with his what was it 300 THOUSAND LIMO ride in France . Listen here McCellan put your right hand on your left ear and your and your left hand on your right ear .Now pull your head out of the dark. As a Viet Nam Vet . To all my brothers who served GOD BLESS You and I hope you are sleeping better than I have for the last 45 years . No I am not a HERO I AM AN AMERICAN . Thank You and God Bless

    • Great response, tell bill Mccellan, that he desreves no honorable funeral for his great deed as a 1 percenter, compared to the no percenters that want freedom but won't commit to the military to defend it, we may not all proven our heroism with the ultimate sacrifice, but we all deserve to begiven a hero's burial at the end.

    • Mr. McClellan may not think he was a hero but if he was in Viet Nam he had some guts. One does not join the military to be a hero but to serve where most in our country do not want to go. Even two years in the military during the Viet Nam era requires courage shown by few. Maybe he was drafted but at least he served.

      Cut costs elsewhere like foreign aid, corporate subsidies and refundable tax credits.

    • Thank you Karen. I was in the Navy for 21 years. Milittary funerals are not only for those who fell in combat, they are also for the surviving friends and the Veteran's family. If spending needs to be cut, let's cut foreign aid and useless government research. Do politicians get funeral honors or do we only lower the Flag? If that happened for Vets, the flag would remain at Half-mast.

      Not a Hero – just a Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer.

      • Art Frailey | April 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm |

        Amen Chief.!!! But remember, you are not 'Just' a retired Chief. From a retired PH!.

    • He served and in the spirit of that service he has made these comments to preserve what is left of a nation which has at it's core a leader who has tried to undermine it at every turn.

      • Art Frailey | April 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm |

        I don't believe that is why he made those comments. But you are right about our so called leader. He is a traitor.

    • Rick Perez | April 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

      I agree with your comment. All of us who served in the U.S. military took the oath to
      protect an defend. All of us knew that in case of war, we could be placed in harms way. Currently, all our military folks are volunteers. Proud to have served my country.

    • Yes I totally agree with what you have said inregard to these remarks has said.I spent 21 years in the ARMY and I have fought for this Country and I feel like I have earned the right to request full Military Honors at my funeral.

    • Art Frailey | April 6, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

      Sounds like our unworthy 'Commander in Chief'

  3. That's fine with me. No Presidents should get it either, nor congress, nor the Supreme Court……What costs anyway? Nothing compared to the number of trips federal officials, including the President takes. $$$$$$$………Bill McClellan is ignorant… Military funeral honors are NOT limited to heroic duty, they are in fact the way the military handles ALL funerals. What a jerk!

    • I know I was just a regular Joe when I was in and we did funeral detail. So that would be no extra cost to the Army. So other then the cost of a flag I am not convinced the army does pay extra.

    • Robert Thomas | March 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • You are so right!!! Jerk doesn't begin to scratch the surface. I'm a vet, post nam pre Iraq. No hero but a volunteer. Hero, no. I care about my country.

    • Amen!!!

    • Amen. In fact, this reporter does not know what he is talking about. The only thing that the military "paid" for when my husband died was the honor guard & the flag-oh & the headstone. I paid for the funeral (not cheap either!) & even the police to lead the funeral procession. This reporter needs to go back & get his facts straight! I think it's the least the military can do when a man/woman gives up their everyday life to go serve to protect our freedoms.

    • Ronald Whaley | April 3, 2013 at 2:00 am |

      I was to understand those cost were a flag only because it is reserve units that provide the service for Vets and they did not get paid for that am I wrong? Either way I bet he thinks we should not have the VA for medical help or those of us that have Service Connected disabilities (Non-Combat Injuries) or pay as well. Geeze let him serve for one tour of duty and do what we had to do. No we don't need trash like that in the Military.

    • Melvin Bradley | April 3, 2013 at 11:47 am |

      I'm with you Chris. I served, I was drafted during the first Vietnam draft, I did not get sent to Nam, however I was just as likely to go as anyone else. Did that diminish my duty to my country?? I think
      not. As far as cost the govenment sends a flag. They don't always send an active duty detail to Veteran funerals, a lot of those are infact handled by Vet organizationsl. Bill McClellan apparently is a left leaning liberal who hates the military. The paper he works for is cerently a left leaning and liberal paper.
      To all who serve and who have served. Thank you.

    • ronald bigelow | April 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm |

      you have it right .if the president would guit flying off on another vacation we could bury almost all of the veterans who are left and the ones yet to come.i for one say all veterans deserve to be buried and honered as a sign of respect

    • AlphaBravo | April 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm |

      I do agree the first cuts should be to congress. Did you know that a congress man or woman only has to serve 1 term and earn $200K for the rest of their lives? I proudly served my 20 years in the AF (deployed to a combat zone) and my retirement is $1400 a mo after taxes (16,800 per yr) which technically puts me at poverty level if I tried to live off that.

      • Amen, where else can you work somewhere for 4-6 years and get a 200,000 retirement. I spent 36 years in the military and cannot live off of the retirement alone.

    • Here Here!!!! Our Congress no longer works for the people anyway. Its all about them! Take their retirement entitlements away. They worry about THEIR raises before taking Sequestration seriously. It should be a privilage to sit in that office, IT's NOT A JOB!!!!! Our Government is so currupt its pittiful!!!

      Congress should not get paid (non-retroactive) every fyscal year starting 1 Oct until they have passed the budget. See how they like that.

    • why not cut off that check once that congressman is out? see how they like unemployment. i agree that 1% did more than the 99% by showing up and serving.

  4. Our military puts it all on the line for us. Even if they never see combat. I lived near a Jihad Jane. She had lists of Reservists and Guardsmen, as well as their families. Her group was targeting the military families in our area. Now, I believe funerals are for the living, to honor their loved one. Military members, and their families, deserve to have their sacrifices honored.

    • Amen, Nancy! Funerals are for the loved ones of the deceased. Families do "serve" also-at home, keeping the home going! My husband was one & he deserved every thing he got at his funeral.

    • right on.

    • Bill Roots | April 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm |

      Mclellan knew what he was doing when he wrote this piece — a sheer attempt to grab his 15-seconds (not minutes) of "fame" – In addition to being a disgrace to journalism, he is one of those guys who would get others killed in combat — the kind who you believe has your back, but all he has is a reefer and so stoned he hardly remembers he was there. So, Mr. Worm, crawl back in your hole. You've disgraced yourself. Yet, at your passing, a military funeral with honors will be offered to your family (if you qualify). Be a big enough man not to take that away from them. — Former SSG, 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) 68-70 RVN

  5. He is also forgetting that just because some us a vet, doesn't mean they CHOOSE full military honors as part of their funeral plans/last wishes. My DH is a vet of three branches and would gladly forego any honors, but that is his choice.

    • Jeremy Janson | March 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |

      You should request honors, for your community, and invite everyone in town to the funeral. Sacrament is important, and is part of how we educate the next generation and become one nation. Without honor, a nation is dead.

  6. Military Funerals are not about Government programs. They are about taking care of our own. We are family. I have taken unpaid leave from the Military and now from my civilian job to particapte in honors for people I had served with. A Flag and Taps from the National Guard and a rifle salute from the American Legion or VFW hardly cost the taxpayers a thing. When I go I expect the next generation of heros to present a flag to my widow or youngest son (a soldier) as I have have done for those who came before.

    • Jeremy Janson | March 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |

      The big difference between "government programs" and military honors, is we don't owe anything to an average welfare recipient. We sure as hell owe something to our veterans.

    • Mitchall T Kamlay | April 2, 2013 at 12:36 am |

      The cost is actually small. The tribute is GREAT. What a slap in the face for those that serve. I have organized Honor Guards. They are a great tribute and memory of those that have passed for the family. Being in the service is a significant part of anyones life. They deserve a prper send off.

    • First and foremost thank you for your service. Everyone is entitled to an ooinion but this writer makes comments that seems so anti-American. Its a shame that he would suggest it.

    • Right on brother!

  7. robert c brenzel, sr | March 29, 2013 at 9:49 am |

    Perspective of the journalist that Ceremony is for the dead is evidence of brain dead anti-hero. Funerals are for the living. Military funerals comfort the survivors and inspire the witnesses (some, anyway) to live their lives to be worthy of the sacrifices made by the deceased. I was in VietNam, in the Air Force. Didn't meet many who weren't there because they chose NOT to avoid it… procreation-FAMILY, SCHOOL, cCANADA, bad backs w/Xrays .As to Air Force "unheroic" in the rear with the gear..many of our perimeter guards were cooks and bottlewashers "augmentees" to us Security Police. Not footslogging infantry but doing their duty amongst thousands of rats, snakes, and monitor lizards.IN MY TOUR (68-69), Six for sure went "crazy" and were evacuated…a score "fell asleep" and were sent to LBJ to serve time for breach of duty…I am sorry the columnist doesn't view his time in VietNam as heroic but it was honorable. That is the test for post-service entitlements,honors. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE SIR…

    • Dale Frahm | April 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm |

      Good One. I also was in the Air Force and volunteered for Vietnam. I was a personnel specialist until they put me in a tower on the perimeter. Get up there and have Charlie get underneath and shoot up. I never asked for anything from the government when I came back. Now I need the medical help and the burial is something I look forward to for my kids. They can be proud of their father because I served my country. Bill McClellan talks out the side of his mouth . I would like to say what he really is but anger management class tells me no. Thanks to everyone who served or will serve.

    • SMSgt(Ret) Davis | April 4, 2013 at 10:24 am |

      Mr Brenzel, first let me thank you for your service. I, also, served in the Air Force for 27 years in the Security Police career field. I was with the 377th Security Police at Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam during the Dec 4-5, 1966 attack. We were out gunned and outmanned 4 to 1 but the VC did not get our base. You don't have to be a hero to have a militay funeral –it is for the family of those of us who served and in respect for the service member who served. We did not do it for wealth or fame but for love for our country. There are many ways to save money in the government, such as, cut back on the President's worthless trips, get rid of the CZARS, etc.

  8. Most Veterans are buried in private cemeteries and use the VFW for burial details. If intern in a National Cemetery the Army will provide on 2 Active members for burial detail. So how is it costing them so much?

    • I serve on the honor gaurd for the VVA. VFW .and DAV. Served in Viet nam 69-70 also . It is a honor to serve and respect of our passing soldiers

    • And the two active members that are detailed that is their main job.

      • RCMasseySFC(Ret) | April 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

        I was active duty with the Army Reserves with the Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) Program. I had the honor of providing Military Honors on many occasion as well as Casualty Assistance. It has been my experience with the Army, that most of the two person detail were Reservist or AGR personal. If a Reservist provided the honor they received $50 for the day and a military vehicle is provided for the detail to travel to and from the ceremony site. The family members were always appreciative; it meant a lot to them. It meant a lot to me as a Soldier to be able to provide one last act of honor for the Veteran, Soldier and families member.

    • Bruce Van Deuson | April 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm |

      Steve, you are right. I believe the only real government cost at most burial services is providing a flag. The burial details mostly come from reserve or guard units who get paid a small amount for their time. Sometimes, veteran's groups perform the service at no cost. This guy is an idiot who apparently has more time than actual work to do, and likes to hear himself talk.

      I'm surprised he picks on one of the lowest cost government services, instead of the rampant waste and fraud going on in the big money programs..

    • I was funeral detail for 3 months in the Army. I must had folded the flag about 100 times for funerals. Yes , I was part of a 2 man team and one crappy boombox that would skip while playing taps. What other cuts do we need? That no good scum deserves a good foot somewhere warm.

    • I just atttended a ceremony in Arlington for a man who served 27 years in the US Navy, none of those years in any combat related endeavor. His beautiful ceremony involved the horse drawn caisson, a full military band, a color guard, the flag detail, a Navy Chaplin, and seven riflemen firing a 21 gun salute. They conduct 27 burials a day at Arlington alone so do the math. I also served 27 years in the US Navy, service similar to that described above and I do think that I should not be accorded the same honors as folks who served in actual combat.

  9. Retirees get full honors, with active duty contingents performing the duties….

    • And in return, the Government doesn't have to pay the retiree any more money! Sounds like a good idea to me.

    • Art Frailey | April 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm |

      All retirees are entitled to full honors. But we forget, not all receive them.

  10. Not everybody who gets a Nobel Peace Prize deserves one, either. I guess the world's not a fair place. I don't claim to be a hero for my twenty years of service, either, but my Father served. Nothing really heroic, Pearl Harbor survivor (USS West Virginia), 9 submarine war patrols in WWII, I guess by McClellan's standards Dad wasn't a hero because he came home and lived long enough to die of old age. I'm glad he got his graveside firing squad and folded flag and didn't live long enough to see a**holes like McClellan sit in judgement of what is or is not heroism.

    • joe fauler | April 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm |

      It does not matter if you enlisted or drafted. who knows where you will get deployed? or what you will do in what ever situation??It may be something big,or small who knows?? are you any less of a hero?
      serving almost 30 in the military,I believe that anyone who puts on the uniform of the nation is a hero,and deserves ALL the honors that this country owes them

    • Best said and Best read! Thank you for your service and God Bless all you Veterans.
      If this Country or those in Pwr have to resort to picking on the Verterans to save that drop in the bucket they truely are not worth the seat they occupy. There is soooooooo much fraud waste and abuse of Government spending it is truely a disgrace in its self. How about the Government posting the expenses weekly for all of America to see instead of hiding it or keeping things so confused we dont see the bottom lines.
      I too am a twenty yr Veteran.

    • AMEN


  11. There is so much wasteful spending by our government and we do need to look at what we can cut, but this is a small final token of thanks to our veterans that they truly deserve irrespective of where they served. Regardless of whether they served handing out supplies in Nebraska, or on the front lines of war, they stepped up, took an oath to defend our nation, and for that they deserve our thanks. Cut the countless programs handing out cash to our enemies and to those who have done nothing to deserve it.

  12. St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s EDITOR should fire the idiot " Bill McClellan". He's definitely not deserving of being called a columnist. Seems if he got off his AS*S he could find better things to write about other than his stupid opnions.

    • Jeremy Janson | March 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm |

      He's not deserving of being called a man.

    • Skip Stengel | April 3, 2013 at 12:27 am |

      McClellan is the only one who knows what he did or did not do in Viet Nam. He took his position as a non-hero columnist and forced his opinion on the readers, but I fought for his right to do that, and he didn't fight for my right to cancel my subscripitican ( excuse my spelling-i'm not a columnist who can spell but forgot what honor means), cancel my Mom's paper and tell as many people that I can, that the Post-Dispatch choose to print Jane Fonda McClellan's uncalled for selfish comments. The Post_Dispatch can't afford to loose to many more customers they are already on the financial DMZ.

    • John Sotomayor | April 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm |

      Relax, he's probably a Demo and served ony 3 years. I served 27 years continous service since WW II up to and including Vietnam. I served over half my service overseas in different countries. I went in at age 17 and retired at age 44. I gave all my youth in the service of our country. No! I never had to shoot anyone (of the enemy) thiough I ducked a few rocket attacks and one snipers bullet. Does that make me a hero? No! But I intend to have a place at a National cementery for myself and my wife (That served at home – and abroad) with me. Do I deserve a miitary funeral and honor guard? Yes! Not so much for me, but for my wife and kids to finalize that their military kin is at rest with his broithers in arms.

    • david a. mills | April 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

      if he dont get fired STOP BUYING THE ST.LOUIS POST- DISPATCH

    • I totally disagree. I am a retired navy seal of 26 years. I am 100% disabled due wounds recieved in action. The reason I joined the military is to give the american people and our allies certain freedoms, one being freedom of speech. If this journalists can print his beliefs weather on not I believe them, then I did my job!

  13. It’s sad,when people attack our own,especially when themselves have even been in the military.Maybe they are jellous.

    • pointman49 | April 2, 2013 at 11:40 pm |

      Ray I must wonder just what did this writer do in Nam? Run around w/his nose up Westmorelands rump? Perhaps he counted the slot machine tokens at some NCO Club~flesh shop in the Toulon Hotel in Saigon?~~~Whatever he did speaks volumes about his own involvement. As we all know, an MOS, regardless of the description of the job, was no guarantee one would survive 'The Nam'. I expect more men & women were killed and or wounded behind the wire than in front of it. "Charlie" insured all troops had an equal opportunity for an appointment with Grave Registration.

      1st Avn. Bge, 2 Corps,
      Tour 69-70

  14. this person will be one of the first ones to complain about not getting a military funeral and his family not getting a flag presented mccallan you need to pull your head out of your rectum and get some brains that you left at the door .all vetrens deserve a military funeral when they pass away and the family shown you belong to the hate church?

  15. Vietnam Combat Vet | March 29, 2013 at 10:45 am |

    Military Honors at the time of a Veterans Funeral is a small price to pay for the Service to Country given by all Veterans. How many Funeral Related Military Honors could you provide with the 2-Billion Dollars a year given to Pres. Karzai in A-Stan and other countries that turn their backs on us?

    • philip Fischetti | April 3, 2013 at 1:27 am |

      He couldn't write about Pres Karzai,it would have to go through the white house press first.What a sad state of affairs our country has become,But maybe we still have some freedom of speech left,so say it now ,it will soon be gone,like everything else those soldiers,sailors marines fought for.Was it all in vane? This man is making every service veteran feel like he was used.What Mr Meclellan doesn't know the Gov is already saving money.As a korean vet i recently buried my wife in a vet cemetery,and paid for the Grave and headstone.Knowing i would be buried along side of her i had to pay for my plot before i was dead.but i was told i'd get the money back..anyone laughing? The gov is way ahead of you Mr McClellan.Oh by the way,the headstones are no longer uprite,but flat in the ground.When i go,i'll make it know i don't want any fanfare,thus saving your gov some more money!

  16. I emailed this response to the "writer in question" I hope that my thoughts reflect well of this community! Here it is!!

    The fact that you served in Vietnam is to be commended, as I served in both recent theaters of combat. You have stated that you do not support Veterans whom did not die in combat to receive funeral honors. One of my last assignments in the Air Force was providing funeral honors to Deceased service members AND Veterans. I look on the faces of the wives, mother’s daughter’s father’s, son’s and the list goes on of those left behind in this world. When you look a person in the eye, even for a moment and see their gratefulness; then you understand their pain, suffering and loss which they just incurred. I bear witness to this. I dissent to your written opinion.
    Should we also not then stop Honors to Congressmen, Senators Justices and Presidents whom MOSTLY NEVER put themselves in harm’s way?! If you are considering us Veterans then contemplate those people as well. Where is the value of their service; their contribution?
    It has been said in different forums and in different ways, "Honor the living & respect the dead". This is valid and true, as it should be. Perhaps one should also consider honoring the living, the living Veterans whom are still with us like you and me, whom are still in this world. WE ARE the living testament to the folly of human stupidity, as it relates to war! But I have veered off subject!
    No Sir! We must honor the passing of a Veteran, because in doing so, we also reaffirm that we as Human Beings CHERISH life above all! And in honoring their passing, we reaffirm this belief. It is not about money, money is not the issue, it is about life! If we devalue life, then what does that say about is as Human Beings?! Does it mean that we are just objects…things?! I reaffirm my position, I say NO to your position!! Human life have value, I hope that you and others will contemplate upon these words here!!

    • "I look on the faces of the wives, mother’s daughter’s father’s, son’s and the list goes on of those left behind in this world. When you look a person in the eye, even for a moment and see their gratefulness; then you understand their pain, suffering and loss which they just incurred."

      Thanks, Liam, this was an excellent response, and a post I most whole heartedly agree with!

    • El Dorado Hills | April 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm |

      Semper Fi

    • Peacetime Army vet | April 3, 2013 at 12:47 am |

      Well said, Liam. This guy is either very bitter, had a bad service-connected experience, is maybe nuts or is just looking for exposure. Maybe a little of both. Most of us never expect a "military funeral," but would be satisfied with the local American Legion, VFW or other vets' group to do the absolute least – even handing the widow the flag from the coffin. No cost to the taxpayers, but recognition fully deserved regardless of duty station.

    • Here, here! Right on point and THANK YOU for your service to our nation.

    • No one can go to war without suffering some sort of major changes in their lives.

      Liam, your thoughts as well as your service not only are a credit to this community but to the hopes that our Founding Fathers saw in America and the ideals that our wounded, maimed and departed brethren sacrificed for. You are a credit to patriots throughout our history . . . past, present, and future.

      Thank you.

    • Howard Flomberg | April 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |

      Bravo, Sir. I simply can say no more. I am Vet, I proudly wear the Vietnam Service Award. I refused a purple Heart over a would that I considered too minor. My family deserves Full Military Honors when I go. Thank you for supporting men like me and ALL Vets.

    • CWO Taylor (ret) | April 3, 2013 at 11:48 pm |

      Well said, I too have done the duty at funerals. It is an honor I would rather have happen less often.

  17. CMSgt Halsted USAF | March 29, 2013 at 11:21 am |

    First, I hope that Mr. McClellen is not referring to service members who lost their life in the time of war. Those persons "gave all" and deserve the highest recognition for their service to their Country. Full military Honors is the least we can offer.

    Second, the level of military honors otherwise rendered depends on the length of service of the deceased veteran. If one's service does not include military retirement a two person Honor Guard is offered. A two person formal flag fold of the American Flag is performed. The flag is then presented to a designated member of the veteran's family. During the ceremony, Taps is performed either electronically or by a bugler.

    If the veteran's service includes retirement from our nation's military, the burial service now includes a formal firing party. Both services of course include the presentation of our nation's colors to a member or members of the decedent's family.

    Two things are important to note. First, These services are presented at the behest of the family. They must be requested through channels usually by the funeral home. No one forces this action. Second, and most importantly, the rendering of Honors to the veteran is "to the Veteran" and not to a hero. The most evident support for this in the words offered by the presenting Honor Guard who explains that our flag and the ceremony surrounding its presentation is in honor and recognition of the veteran's service. There is no mention of any other action but of the veteran's service to his/her country.

    These Honors are paid by members of the veteran's service or by members of fraternal military organizations to a person who stood before them, they stood with or stood after them in defense of their country. It is our responsibility to show our respect for their service. What better way than to offer Military Honors at the time of their passing.

    • Robert W. Kelly | April 1, 2013 at 12:30 am |

      An Outstanding Summary – Could not have been stated better- I gave 34 years service- I trust this qualifies me.

      Robert W. Kelly, Col. USAF {Ret{

      • TSgt Michael | April 2, 2013 at 12:09 am |

        Well said Chief! I currently am the Program manager for a base Honor Guard. Our primary mission– Military Funeral Honors. The cost behind this is a drop in the bucket. For what it takes to put one training sortie in the air, I can run my entire program…training, uniforms, travel expenses, etc.. for about 5 years. It is truly an honor to remember those who have served before me. In my mind, a "hero" is that someone who raised their right hand and took the oath. Regardless if they have seen combat or not! Everyone that has worn the uniform deserves it!

    • Medic in Germany | April 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm |

      You nailed it, Chief. McClellen should put your reply up as his follow-up column while he goes to wipe the egg off his face.

      I served during a time of war, but did not see combat. I'm a retired journalist and couldn't have written a better response than yours. Thank you and thank you for your service.

    • James Conley | April 3, 2013 at 8:27 am |

      What a sane and rational response to the issue raised! It's refreshing to see civil discourse rather than the knee-jerk reaction to a simple, perhpas not well-thought-out comment. Everyone feels entitled these days. What's lacking in 21st Century America is the humility and quiet strength that built this country.

    • Thanks Chief!!! Knew it would eventually take a Chief to clear this all up. Thanks for your service!

    • Perry Willard | April 5, 2013 at 7:31 pm |

      Chief, THANK YOU for your SERVICE , I too have retired from the USAF. I feel that no matter where or how they have severed it is the duty of America to respect the Vet and their family. This is a small thing to do. It does not matter if SOME GAVE ALL or ALL GAVE SOME. It matters that the Vet was there to do HIS/HER job when called to duty. In God's eyes and heart they will be THANKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Chief for letting me vent. People like Bill Mc Clellan have no respect of others.

    • Bless you for your words. The Honors not only show respect to the veteran, but gives comfort to the family. Perhaps my father, Col.USAF(ret), was not a hero in some people's eyes, but to the Brats he left behind he was much more than that. He sacrificed time with his family serving tours where dependents were not allowed, he sacrificed time with his brother and sister and mother serving tours too far from his home of record to visit often, he lost time with his teenaged children leaving for work before they awoke and getting home after they were abed. He spent 29 years (1941-1970) serving a country he loved and for which he would have died. He was a great-great grandson of a Revolutionary Patriot and the grandson of a pioneer and very proud of the country that gave him birth.

  18. what is a VETERAN? It is a person who wrote a blank check to the Goverment for upto and encluding his/her life to protect this country from all her enemys both foreign and domestic. So hell yes they deserve full HONOR at their time of passing they paid it forward.

    • Jeremy Janson | March 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm |

      If we go around treating veterans in this irreverent, nihilistic way, no young man will want to become one. Some things are sacred, and honor is real, and if you don't realize it is real, then people will subconsciously decide to do nothing for their country. They'll never tell you this, because they don't want to be vain or selfish or seem this way, they will simply stop, silently, without ever telling you that there is a problem, and America will die without a whimper or a cry.

    • Thanks Walt – I could not agree with you more.

    • Amen to that!!

    • I have 3 Honorable discharges and am a 100% disabled vet. (1961 through 1995) However, Because of my duty assignments, there are no records of any of my assignments or where I served. By the authors rules, I would not get a military funeral. I served from Vietnam through several "unadvertised conflicts, the first Gulf war(Iraq) and then retired as I could no longer perform my duties. My entire life has been spent in service to my country yet, people like the author would never recognize that.

  19. He's a Viet Nam vet you idiot. He earned his right to an opinion. Yea, get this to O'Reilly, he served honorably…..NOT.

  20. No need to get worked up. He's one small columnist…and one big idiot. Just ignore people like this, his thoughts and ideas will never be more than that..HIS thoughts.

  21. Anyone who has sworn to support and defend America despite the possibility that carrying out that duty could cost them life or limb – well, they most definitely deserve to be honored upon death with a traditional military send off. And their spouse and children deserve military burials if that is what the family wants. It is a benefit I find many civilians do not understand. There is no requirement to be a "hero" or to have served in combat to be buried in a military cemetery. Period. This is no place to be looking for budget cuts.
    Now, I do find it interesting that author draws the line with this honor being OK for service men and women who have died in combat. I also want to point out that McClellan did NOT claim that all who died in combat were heroes as both the title and content of your piece suggests. He said those who have died in combat were the only ones deserving of military funeral honors paid by the government – as a sign of gratitude for their sacrifice. Like I said in the beginning, I disagree with him about who should receive military honors at the government’s expense at burials. However, with the automatic naming of all who have served as “hero” he and I agree. So, Amy, I disagree with your assertion that everyone who has served IS a hero. And from this:
    “And in today’s wars, again, certainly not everybody is a hero. Less than one percent of Americans volunteer to serve. That makes more than 99 percent of Americans (with the obvious exclusion of our firefights and cops who are heroes in their own right) excluded from this category. Ninety-nine percent of Americans are not heroes. One percent are heroes just by virtue of volunteering for the risk of war.”

    it also appears you are saying that hero is a title reserved only for service members, firefighters and police. With that I also disagree. Obviously hero is a term that is defined differently by different folks. I find my very good friends use it quite differently than I. To me a hero is a person I admire for courage or noble qualities. Given this premise, one could argue that everyone who has served is a hero because the profession is noble and it takes guts to promise to do your job without regard for your personal safety. However, I personally do not throw this term around lightly regarding military service. I am both an Army veteran and an Army spouse of over 20 years to a man who has served in a war zone three times. For me, a military hero is a service member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty showing disregard for personal safety in carrying out his/her duty. So I don't automatically ascribe that title to service members in general – or even all combat veterans (most are, however). Although military service is a noble profession, not everyone in the service is there for noble reasons and in the face of danger, not every service member acts particularly courageous. I know this because I have served. Remember the draft? Many vets who have died in combat were drafted into service. Some would rather have not served and would have never signed up willingly. Some vets talk about having very little courage in battle but acted according to their training nonetheless. Some combat vets joined the military less for noble reasons and more out of necessity (i.e. Vietnam vets who chose military duty over prison or currently those who cannot otherwise find work).

    NOTE: This piece is too long, so I will comment in 2 parts.

  22. NOTE: This piece is too long, so I commented in 2 parts. My first part is awaiting approval, but this one did post – so please forgive my comments appearing out of order. (Admin, can you fix that?)

    So, continuing…

    Personally I think throwing the word around lightly – using it in conjunction with achievements one finds admirable (like professional athletes or celebrities) devalues the word. I cringe every time someone is quoted in the media saying that Lance Armstrong had fallen from grace – how he was a hero to so many. Really? A hero? He ditched his beautiful wife and the mother of his two sweet babies – the woman who stood by him in cancer treatment before he hit fame and fortune – he ditched her because she was clinically depressed. In the thing that really mattered in life (supporting his loved one when she needed him the most) he was a failure. So Lance was a hero? To me he never was. Maybe he overcame great medical odds to be successful in a physical feat – and for that some would call him courageous and hence a hero. Maybe some want to call him a hero because he helped raise a lot of money for cancer victims but never mind that he didn't hesitate to cheat or lie or tear down his comrades along the way. There are many very wealthy people who raise lots of money for great causes, but that does not give them hero status – some do it for self-promotion, tax breaks or as a "front" of otherwise illegitimate business operations. For instance – consider that despicable "charity" group in Florida called Allied Veterans of the World which was recently exposed as a $300M scam. Things are not always as they seem. My point in bringing up Lance and Allied Veterans is that people/establishments who appear heroic in action or deed may not be heroes at all. I caution my children to choose their heroes carefully. In reality, there are not very many heroes among us.

    Now back to the point of this article. Yes, I think the burial honors should continue – as a traditional tribute to honor the service member or vet's service to America – as a last good bye from a grateful nation. It is special. Serving in the military is special. They deserve it whether or not they fell in combat. Just raising their hand said they promised to do their job even if called to do it under perilous conditions. THIS sets them into a unique and honorable group of people. I served and was honorably discharged. I never saw combat and I do not consider myself a hero. I promised to go to war if my country needed me to but I was never asked to do that during the cold war. So please, when I die do not call me a hero just because I felt duty bound to choose the profession of arms. Yes, honor me differently than other citizens who have not made this same pledge, because once I took that oath, I became a member for life of an honorable brotherhood that many in America have never chosen to be a part of. When I am buried, I hope my children will hear taps from a live bugler and feel proud of my service. I hope they will admire me for my courage and noble acts while on this earth. Whether or not I am a hero to them will be for them to decide.

  23. Last I checked, they were called MILITARY honors, not "combat vet" honors or "combat casualty" honors. What defines us is our service. Not everybody serves during a time of war. Even if they do, not everyone gets orders to the war zone. That doesn't make them any less a part of the miitary.

  24. danny barrett | March 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

    This guy strikes me as a disgruntled draftee who wants to get back one more time at the "Green Machine."

  25. What is the alleged savings? I perform these details for free, simple at the request of a veteran in need.

  26. Mericn2dabone | March 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm |

    As this Spouse of a Service member wants to cut and safe alittle of the money spent by the Big Machine in Washington. I commend her for thinking at least thinking about the budget. that is more than the other 99% of the nation to include puzzle palace occupants. but, lets take it one step further to save more money. lets cut BAH and BAS as well. We can do away with housing because we all know if the Army wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one. and some spouses are just there for a paycheck and free medical anyway. as for BAS cutting heck, lets all eat in the mess hall and have family night everynight. at $8 a meal for a family of 4 that puts money back INTO the budget. as for medical which all families need. lets all active duty pay for it like the ARNG/Reserves/Retired. that will save alot of money and put it back into the budget as well. and when this spouse's husband retires or dies lets all send her a condolence card with a copy of her article in it. and then lets make sure we send it COD for Saturday delivery but USPS.

    • Art Frailey | April 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm |

      I hope I am seeing a bit of sarcasm here. So I did not mark you + or – ……..

  27. Bill McClellen is an idiot to say the least and has no concept of what he's talking about in reality. he wants to cut costs, and I concur – previous administrations have overspent and this administration has done its best to spend us into oblivion -but lets look to what should be cut and stop looking to those who have borne and continue to bear the brunt of their efforts to ensure the freedoms and peace for the free world. Let's look at stopping the presidential and family vacations we pay for – lets stop giving money and material to our enemies – lets stop allowing politicians to take their campaign warchest with them when they leave office and put it to the General Fund instead! So many options that should be considered long before cutting into veterans' benefits, Social Security, or other programs – lets cut thise who have FAILED so miserably this great nation and NOT those who have served honorably!!!

  28. Glen Zimmerman | March 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm |

    If you asked a person that was called a hero, they'd more than likely tell you "no", I was just doing my job. I guess that part of being a hero is having humility. Most do heroic deeds for love of thier buddies, loved ones, or even everyday strangers. Usually it's not because they are a Marine or an Airman, or even a police officer/fire fighter (who btw are likely to be veterans of military service themselves). Nope it's because they know that w/o them the 99% is sheep to slaughter and the loved ones, and friends are potential victims. I served on qutie a few funeral details while in the Air Force. We provided this for veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force, and you know what? The families were so grateful it was hard to hold back emotions of our own when the widow or the sons would come up and hug each of us. Second part coming up!!

  29. Daniel Gosz | March 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm |

    This guy has brain damage. At most the VA will pay $1400 towards plot internment, burial and funeral expenses. Max $700 towards internment and the other $700 for burial services and funeral service. Every veteran has earned this regardless of when they served. You really want to cut costs in government, have the lifetime politicians on capitol hill contribute to their own health care, have them contribute to social security, and after they are out of office they either get unemployment for a max of 2 years until they find other work or if they are of retirement age, they collect social security like the rest of us.

  30. slturbiner | March 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm |

    As a member of the US military, I feel ALL individuals who currently serve or have served this GREAT nation have the right to receive Military Honors. Some individuals will receive Full Military Honors and some will not but ALL have the right to receive these honors. It is an honor and a privilege to be able a serve one’s country whether one of drafted or volunteered.

    I am part of a Military Funeral Honors detail and have worked many military funerals which include some within my own family. When I work one of these funerals, whether I present the American Flag to the family or not, this is my way of thanking the individual who has served our great nation and their family for the support they gave their family during their time of service and following.

  31. cruisemama98 | March 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |

    My dear husband served two tours in Viet Nam. One month shy of his 46th birthday, he died of a massive cerebral aneurysm. No one can convince me that it wasn't caused by his service to his country. In the long run it doesn't matter because dead is dead but as far as I am concerned, all those who served are HEROES and deserve full military honors at their burials. I plan to have my husband's ashes interred at Arlington where I feel he belongs.

  32. julieann2005 | March 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm |

    I want to know what the cost is??? My husband is in the Air National Guard & he gets life insurance fee taken out of every check for his funeral, we pay for it not the government. So Bill McClellan what is the cost?

  33. This article just makes me angry……just because a person is not in a war or 'conflict' does not mean that they did not risk their life for this country! My now deceased husband worked on the flight deck of an air craft carrier and he risked his life every day when there were planes taking off and landing! No, my husband chose not to make a career out of the military but he was damn proud of what he did do. I do think his time on the ship did cause some of his health problems and I thank god every day that we married young (19) and had our children early because he passed away at the age of 44 and our children had 24 & 20 years with him respectively. When a person joins the military they are saying 'I will protect you with my life if it comes to that' and THAT is why they deserve that respect.

  34. What an ignorant thing to say (the columnist). Just because a man dies old and not in battle doesnt mean he didnt go threw combat at one time which we know to be going threw hell and back. For all you know he could of suffered from ptsd for 30 years after the war. Which basicly is re-living the war all over again and again not just in the heat of the battle

  35. you need to get a life of honor, of course you do not have, to tarnish their service is really absurd, REALLY what are you thinking, but to think you have to have a brain [ functional ] come down to EARTH do not stay in space [blank] if you can read thank a VET or go back to where you came from, take your family with you, PLEASE.

  36. Were these men and women given a guaratee that there would be no danger? They would always be safe? No, they join knowing that the potential for danger is very real. We hope they all will return safely and healthy. They put their lives out there for the rest of us. Yes there are extreme acts of heroism. But in my book they are all heros just for volunteering for the safety of the rest of us.

  37. Stop supporting the St. Louis Post-Dispatch until such time that Bill McClellan is fired. Boycott any merchant that advertises in that paper and let those establishments know the reason. Why would they want an airhead like him anyway.

  38. Necroconvict | March 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm |

    Though the points could be considered valid the part where it is mentioned if everyone is a hero then no one is. Not EVERYONE is a hero. Those sitting at home are not hero (as far as war is concerned). Each soldier is where they are told to be, taking the risk that today could be the day something happens. Now even if they freak out, and that is a terrible thing, they are still there. They are in uniform defending our country, defending our people, our everything. They support each other. Often times a "hero" wouldn't have the chance to be one if others were not around him/her in the first place. They do things like leaving their families, and lives behind, not knowing what will happen wherever they go.

    I am very sure there are many things in our government that we can cut, but this should not be one of them. As some learned at Benghazi and some learned in testing grounds, just because you are on a simple detail, or anything else… the next turn could be very unexpected. I write this from the safety of my bedroom, while enjoying the day off due to Good Friday. Thank you to all soldiers, I hope we continue to honor each and everyone of you.

    • Military funeral honors are for service NOT heroism. Heroism is recognized by a medal or even just someone appreciating someone making the sacrifice to be put in harms way at any moment. This guy is an idiot and has no clue as to what he is talking about. How he became a journalist is beyond me. He did no fact checking before he wrote his opinion. And that is what it is, an opinion based on non-factual data. A military funeral honor is an entitlement to a service member for honorable service in the military. If you have other than honorable service then you are not entitled to one. I worked burial details for 4 years with the Marine Corps and I know the ins and outs and how much it costs, and a flag a handful of blank rounds and some gas don't cost that much. I know that we spend in one week on welfare more than we spend on funeral details across the country for 2 years. So where is this so called savings he is speaking of.

  39. Morris Devereaux | March 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |

    What they did that was heroic, and deserves recognition is that they OFFERED to place their very lives between us and tyranny.

    Oh, they may have served their two year drafted hitch without hearing a shot fired, but that doesn't change the fact that had they been told to grab a rifle and charge the hill where certain death awaited, that they would've done it…for all of us.

  40. I am disgusted with this mans thoughts. I just lost my daddy in December and he served in Vietnam and and I seen the hell he paid after serving this country, he deserved his military burial, and any one who puts their life on the line to serve this country deserves every respect we can give. As far as I am concerned take away all this pay that the president and all the others get that are in congress because they do nothing heroic all they do is sit behind a desk and push a pen and take free rides on jets and vacations on our dime. So this man can take his comments and stick them where the sun don't shine

  41. Ben in SoCal | March 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm |

    I am active duty Navy; I’ve dealt with a class Charlie fire here and there. I took the same Oath as a Navy SEAL, but my service is no where comparable to that of a SEAL. They are better men then me, but I hold neither grudges nor envy. SEALs deserve such honors, not a Navy maintenance administrator like myself. It is my own opinion, and like all veterans posting here, I’ve damn well earned my right to offer them.

    I mean no disrespect to my fellow veterans.

    The potential for danger is real, but let’s be honest: most people in the Navy face no veritable threats. Yes, duck your heads or arch your backs when traversing the P-ways. Make sure the trash is out of your shop to reduce fire hazards. Show up on time, and call attention on deck for O-5 and above. But it is not a hard life. The vast majority of us will never see physical combat, unlike our brothers and sisters in the SEALs and grunt Marines.

    • Glen Zimmerman | March 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm |

      Ben, I think you may have missed the point. It's not about whether your a Navy SEAL or an Army cook. Your a veteran, you took the oath just like that Navy SEAL did. You serve a different function, but still you risk life and limb by being in the uniform of your nations Navy. Im sure you have a job in fire control (forgive me, Im an Air Force veteran and therefore am not familiar with the Navy jargon), or some other shipboard detail in damage control, etc..? Not everyone can be a SEAL, just like not everyone can be a fighter pilot, but a lot more than 1% can and should serve in thier nations military, like you and I. At any moment you could be called upon to do something that is more SEAL like than administrator and I bet you'd do it. Thank you for your service Ben and fair seas to you my brother.

    • Ben,

      Let me give you a different perspective. I retired from the Army. My grandfather, my father and my two brothers were Navy. While you might not think what you did mattered, I beg to differ. In theater when I needed rounds for my tank or 9MM, they were there. How do suppose they got there? When I ate in the mess hall, how did the food get there? As for your Seals, while they may be great swimmers, they don't swim across oceans to get to their battlespace. So BLUF, all members that served honorably deserve honors at the final bugle call. Whether you were directly engaged or not, you served in a capacity to ensure those that did had what they needed to execute their mission and survive.

  42. I can honestly say I have never been so disgusted in my entire life. My father is a Vietnam vet. He served, and left a part of himself in that war zone. He may have come home and lead a mostly normal life, but I have never seen more of an impact from anything on that man than a military funeral with honors. It is so much more than just a ceremony. I see no better way than this for my father to depart this world. He DESERVES no less than this. I am also the wife of a retired Navy sailor with PTSD. Having lived through the support side of PTSD, I have seen how much my husband has sacrificed for this country. How dare anyone try to take away an honor that he deserves so much.

  43. Does this IDIOT realize that MOST ceremonies for deceased military are handled by LOCAL MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS and have no bearing or COST TO THE FED!!! Do your research before you open your YAP!!

  44. Mark Stoughton | March 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  45. First and foremost a military funeral honor is an entitlement that is earned and not a privilege. Therefore why would someone who did not serve receive any entitlements that they did not earn and is not looked upon as a privilege. You want to cut spending? Cut the useless spending on those that receive entitlements for not working and who live off the government when there is nothing wrong with them. We spend waaaaaaay less on Military Funeral Details than other entitlements. The services are performed by Military Servicemen/women on Active Duty time, so there is no cost there. The only costs associated are the cost of the flag, the blank rounds and the gas to get there. All other costs associated are already a part of the services property and duties. So tell me EXACTLY how much of a cost savings this will bring to the American public. Not to mention that the defense budget has been cut in half already so how much more do you want to take away from the military.

  46. A war hero is honored with a medal usually with valor. That is how military heroes are traditionally honored by their respective service. A Military Burial Detail honors the service of those who sacrificed by pledging an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic by sacrificing their freedom to live where they want and by being told where they will and will not go. The service of a military service member is that of personal sacrifice in all aspects of their lives. So Mr. Vietnam Vet, I do have respect for your service, especially during a troubling time such as the Vietnam Conflict.

  47. I understand that men were drafted and many lives were sacrificed. But this does not mean that you down play the service of others, especially when they do it voluntarily. I have served 15 years in the Marine Corps and now an additional 2.5 years in the Air National Guard. I would never throw generations upon generations of service members under the bus for whatever chip you have on your shoulder. You sir, have shown disrespect to all of your fellow service members. You should be ashamed of yourself and as a journalist, you should do a better job of fact checking before you spew uninformed hate at those that would defend you for your right to be unintelligent.

  48. DaughterOfAVeteran | March 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm |

    EVERY discussion about Anything always has you Obama Haters spewing your BS. Just get over it…A BLACK MAN is YOUR President! And He is better for the job than you are!

  49. Iagree, what an idiot. A funeral is the final way we citizens can pay our respects to the soldiers and those that have served to protect all of our freedoms. My father was a veteran along with many of his brothers and all have had military services. To me that is a small price to pay for what they have done. If you want to make cuts, cut somewhere else, like life benefits for congress and senators even after serving only one term. There are thousands of programs that can use cuts, welfare, immigration, but leave the veterans alone as we need to take care of all of them alive or deceased.

  50. Christopher Bell | March 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

    I was in the Base Honor Guard at McGuire AFB, NJ for one year straight. It was my honor to preform the last military ceremony these veterans will receive. We covered the Tri-State area, so the only costly thing was gas, which was already on a budget. We re-issued old uniforms to new members on their rotation to keep costs low. While I was in the honor guard I was informed that we Airmen perform these ceremonies by the decree of President Bill Clinton. The way the military saves and cuts cost of military funerals is by how the said individual separated or retired: Honorably or Dishonorably. Now I am venturing on as apart of my VFW's Honor Guard to continue that tradition for our Nations heroes.

  51. Enjoy that freedom of speech you are exercising with this awful heartless article…The soldiers who serve have kept it for you nice and warm…. I am a solider from Desert Storm and all the people there with me are heros to me…. Ill pay for their funerals, lets start with welfare and government spending before we destroy our defense.

  52. Mike Fitzsimmons | March 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

    You wear the uniform and obey the orders. If you are sent to fight you go. If not you may be lucky. However if you are on a ship there is always danger. Even if you don't go to battle you train for it and that makes you better than those who just stay home.

  53. If funerals are really for the families, then honoring a veteran's service is another way to also honor the sacrifices that veteran's family made. Just ask my family what sacrifices they have made for me. No, they did not choose for me to enlist, but they waited and worried and sent me care packages and had to live on without me while I was deployed.

  54. Well, I joined in March, 1968. The Draft was on but I joined and I did go to VN. I survived because of my assignment, but then I served in other conflicts, ending in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. I survived because our General and President were superb leaders. Anyway, by the looks of it, all the comments to day, I would say, McClellen is just out of his league and must have been like now SoD Kerry, a war protester. People like them are very dangerous to the very grounds for which we stand. Anyway, let's take the advise of Chris' comments, let us cut congressional benefits to start and oh yea, have them take the lie detector prior to assuming office.

  55. So send our money to Syria and the rest of middle east but cut out the Funeral Honors. WHAT A MISERABLE PERSON THIS GUY IS.

  56. Diane (army mom) | March 29, 2013 at 6:31 pm |


  57. bigbill1961 | March 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

    How 'bout we ditch this columnist?

  58. I've done many military honors before and the only cost there was is gas. So exactly how is that going to save money. How to save money is by stopping sending other counties money and support America.

  59. All service men and women are heroes whether or not they "did something heroic in battle" and whether or not they were drafted or volunteered. They still fought so drape their coffins with the flag they defended!!

  60. if you did not reach the rank of colonel or have the army/navy cross or the cmh you do not receive serving military personel when my father in law dies he was a retired colonel with 30 yrs 6 in combat flew 65 missions when only 35 were required he also was awarded the army cross in the big war ft knox ky being the closest post sent 6 serving personnel 5 guys and a girl in dress uniforms they carried the coffin folded the flag fired the guns before we left the funeral home i spoke with one of the guys also a smoker he said this was what he did in the service they had a company 107 guys i think and this is all they did and it was only available if you made col. or had the army/navy cross or the chm no 1 else got this

  61. sabrinacking | March 29, 2013 at 8:24 pm |

    Let me regain composure here. Once upon a time, I had the misfortune of having to attend 23 funerals in three weeks. It was a terrible, horrid fall. What Mr. Bill doesn't seem to realize is, those funerals are already different. Helmets and dog tags on guns between boots, I am sure every other branch has some variation. The joint ones are the worst, the totality of a line of boots to this day haunts me. We honor our dead in the military community because we owe them that decency, and no less so when their death was not in combat. Service members suffer all sorts of hidden wounds. The most tragic funeral I ever attended was for a suicide, long after the soldier had returned from combat. When you hear those guns fire, your entire body shakes. Your heart leaps from your rib cage, and your soul goes silent. We need that poetic reminder of the 1% of this country who agrees to bear witness to mans tragedy for the rest of us. All service members are heroes.

  62. Thank you for your service Frenchie.

  63. Once you serve you would understand why veterans are given honors at their funeral. Be willing to die for freedom, go places you might not want to go, sacrifice your life for years away from friends and family. Do that then lets talk…

  64. Your Idea of what a HERO is way different that what mine would be. You lack the understanding of what a person who serves defines what a hero is. It is not what you would say a hero is, this I am sure.

  65. TSgt Josh M | March 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm |

    I spent 15 years on Active Duty, during which I did 12 years on various bases. The problem is that the Honor Guard isn't a position that gets cut and saves money. It's an extra duty, so as long as someone is dying, there will always be need. If we did away we the program completely, the military personnel would just go back to their normal jobs, not really saving any money. Plus, the whole program is prioritized. Active Duty deaths got priority with full honors. Retirees would get two military members to fold the flag, at minimum, full honors if possible. Veterans would get two military members if possible. Sure, we could save on clothing and rifles or something, but there are more pressing solutions for savings. Dignity and respect to those who have served and died is often best relayed by a fellow serviceman in uniform passing a folded flag on behalf of a grateful nation.

  66. JDavid McDaniel | March 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  67. FormerMPSGT | March 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm |

    I served in Peace Time and I took the same Oath as those Serving in War, Protect and Defend the Constitution against all enemies Foreign or Domestic. I had no guarantee that there would be no war during my time of service, nor did I say: I DIDNT JOIN TO GO TO WAR JUST FOR SCHOOL as some said when the first Gulf War occurred; They should have been DISHONORABLE DISCHARGED and Good Luck getting jobs Washing Dishes for the rest of your lives! IF I were physically able I would have gone, I am one of many who you never hear of that are badly injured or others that can no longer speak for themselves that were Killed in Peace Time on Active Duty! We chose to serve just the same, it was an honor and IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN I WOULD!

  68. Colonel J B Watt | March 29, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  69. reddevilsinbaggypants | March 29, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
  70. Ethan Williams | March 30, 2013 at 5:45 am |

    You know i dislike people when they say insignificant crap like this. I am a proud soldier. no i don't think of myself as a hero but i hate how we (the military) have to suffer and take spending cuts when all the senators, congressmen, and even the president don't take a single dime out of their own paycheck. when they could take a pay cut for a full year and still be well off.

  71. spouse2000 | March 30, 2013 at 6:50 am |

    Interesting point of view. Great way to think outside the box. Even if we don't agree with him we need more people willing to think like him.

  72. D.A.Veteran | March 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |

    Gee, our priorities as a nation really suck. Every generation in my family has served our Country since the beginning of the American Revolution. I am a disabled Vet. Sure I only served 5 years but my life was changed forever due to my injuries for which I can never get away from the pain and misery of living with them and taking the pain medicines just so I can tolerate the pain now. I hold associate degrees and a BS in Business Administration but guess what, I will never have that career I had planned for because I cannot sit or stand for more that a few minutes at a time. So, a piece of crap decides I dont deserve a Honor Guard Funeral Service. Thank you for the slap in the face and spit in the eye.

  73. This guy is an idiot !!! How much money is spent on the president and his family's vacation while in office? No body pays my vacation ! How much money is wasted on the limo's that our elected officials use in a year ? How much money is wasted on those drivers ? How much money is wasted on our elected officials that don't do a dam thing for our country ? How much money is wasted by our elected officials on their expense accounts ? Let them pay theirs bills like we do !!!

  74. This is a very touchy subject, but I think I can come up with a reasonable response. I don't think there is a right or wrong opinion on this issue. However, I do feel that not everyone should be awarded military honors. My opinion is that only those that have died during their service (not including suicide) or have retired should receive the honors. Now, not all medical retirees would qualify unless they have over 15 years of service at least.

    People have to understand the commitment that someone with 20 years of service compared to someone with just 4 years. Those that have serve should be commended, but they don't deserve military honors (in my opinion) unless they die while in uniform or have made the military a career. Not about saving money for me and I have nearly 20 years of dedicated service to my country. My opinion is strictly based on what I feel is appropriate because I honestly believe that if had ended my service below 15 years, I don't deserve anything.

  75. | March 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

    It would seem that here is an individual who has finally understood how to push the buttons of those who are so all about cutting costs. Bill McClellan is making a point; the point is simple, we can all identify something popular within the federal budget that might need cutting. Amy Bushatz as well as some of the contributors to this forum appear to have missed that point; her article seems to call Bill McClellan's Americanism into question. Well, I suppose when someone raises the possibility of cutting something you feel is sacred, you might be forgiven for thinking they are a bit unpatriotic. However, rest assured Bill McClellan is as patriotic as anyone contributing to this forum; over the next 3 years you will hear many cost cutting ideas, few of them will be implemented because they will all cost some votes. In the end only the Sequestration will ever be truly successful in cutting costs.

  76. Army Chica | March 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

    There are literally thousands of better ways to save money in our government. While it's good to start somewhere, benefits to 1% of our population is not something we should include in those cuts.

  77. If said columnist wants to cut costs I suggest he look at our Medicare, Medicaid, and Education, budgets. I served in the US Navy in between wars and during that time we buried 4 people from my ship during accidents. I sure don't count myself a hero but I damn sure served. I am sick unto death of looking to cut veteran's benefits as a sure fire way to save money. We send those people out there and we are due the bill!

    A moron a complete moron.

  78. groovedawg | March 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm |

    Every Vet is a hero.

  79. Mr McClellan- to this day alot of veterans will not tell family,phychiatrists,Dr's and esp. the likes of the media as yourself what they endured while serving in WWII,the jungles of Vietnam,the gulf war,and the war's since 9/11.My husband struggles day after day as agent orange destroys what life he has left.He never got to enjoy 1 day of retirement after serving in the army/navy and national guard for over 20 year then working for DOD for 17 more.Alot of Veteran's are much worse health wise,than my husband,and let me tell you they are all HERO'S !! Let us never forget those who paid with their lives. How DARE you try to take away from our Veteran's.Crawl back under that rock you COWARD

  80. Sorry I left out Korean Vets in my comment

  81. john dobise | March 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm |

    Maybe our esteemed members of Congress may consider not spending money on the sex lives of snails in New Zealand, or a "Bridge to Nowhere" or two before they dishonor those who served their country.

  82. andrew Casciato Sr. | March 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

    I have a bit of experience when it comes to military honors. I played taps for app. 150 funerals prior to heading over to the pond in 1967-68. While I was there we performed honors for many who were waiting to head home in bags and boxes. Today I am proud to continue performing honors with a group of veterans whom I consider my true band of brothers. The branch of the service that the person belonged to usually folds the flag for the family and presents the flag as well. We perform taps ,the rifle volley and any other requests the family may have. Removing the military branch of service to save a few bucks is the biggest slap in the face that can be given to a vet. We all agreed to sign a blank check to our government for everything including our lives if necessary, and we all promised to defend our country from all enemies both foreign and domestic,and we never withdrew our names from that promice. The code I learned in 1967 still guides me today. " DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR" Airborne .DAV Captain Drew VFW post 1055

  83. I'm a Military Veteran and I also over saw Military Funerals at the National Cemetery and to date I have oversaw about 2,000 Veteran funerals. Now, let me say this all Vets deserve to be honored. We currently live in a society that could give a rats a__ about us as Vets, and this is from the top down. And, little missies article above proves my point.

  84. He sounds like one of these idiot kids I used to listin to when I was a growing up in the 60's and 70's. I was 16 when I first tried to enlist, 1974. My Dad refused to sign as the recruiter said even I had a chance for Vietnam. I am and have met many that have done years of service in and out of combat. I believe someplace in the oath it mention's enemies both foriegn and domestic. Dawning a uniform means you protect the constitutions laws at any time. This is "all the time". My definition of a hero is any person that steps up and takes responsibility. My father is a disabled Vet. and he is my hero.
    Sounds like this guy is a progressive with to much time on his hands.

  85. Paul Rivers | March 30, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  86. Paul Rivers | March 31, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  87. Paul Rivers | March 31, 2013 at 12:03 am |
  88. Marc Helwig | March 31, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  89. As A non combat vet I see some of his point but there are so many Veterans that do not get a heroes burial it's sickening. My stepfather who passed away about 13 years ago was a navel hero. He fought in WWII and Korea, has 8 silver stars and was given a full honer burial by his comrades at his VFW not the NAVY! So all men do not get the full military honors when put to rest. Just a color guard. I think he deserved better and so did a lot of men, men that landed on that beach head on D day, Men who dropped into combat three times during WWII, Foot soldiers who were at the battle of the bulge and Bastone. Their all but gone now and some never even got a thank you.

  90. George C. Dinsmore | March 31, 2013 at 9:05 am |

    Maybe the person who recommended this, says he is a Veteran, should think of his past, he says he was in Vietnam, if he has a family in which did stand by him at that time is reason enough to allow him to have HONORS AT BURIAL TO SAY THE LEAST. Maybe his family might not have a husband/father.

  91. Lawrence N. Adams | March 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm |

    When I was a kid and Men managed and controlled everything, my Mother was fond of saying, " An educated man is not necessarily a smart man." After reading Amy Bushatz'z column, I see the statement speaks to women as well!!!

  92. please say that to my face

  93. Phillip Smith | March 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm |

    I served for 22 years in the uniform of this country and you mean to say, when i die I can't have the honor of a Military burial because I was not killed in combat!!!

    Did this person serve or his he like any others that have not ever worn the unifom of one of the branchs of the military…

  94. Joseph Diggs Sr | March 31, 2013 at 11:26 pm |

    I solomey swear to "Defend and Protect The USA> against all Enemeies Forgien or Domestic" so Help me God. Is there anything those of us who are veterans left out?????

  95. Bill McClellan you are a Idiot!!!!!

  96. How much can it possibly cost the government in terms of money expended to respect a deceased veteran. List the cost to the government of, a very nice flag which the family will possibly cherish forever and remember the deceased every time they look at the flag, gasoline for two or three members of the military to attend and do a brief cermony. Balance this agaist the feeling of patrism toward our country by the family and attendies generated by this government act of thank you for your service.

  97. adrian wecer | April 1, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  98. Foam MM1(SS) | April 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

    Seriously, its why we all served, so all opinions might be voiced, not just the ones we agree with. (BTW we all know what opinions are like and we all know everyone elses stinks)

    Just because his ideas are wrong doesn't mean he should not be able to say them.

    Oh and as to removing the right, wasn't that a guarantied benefit? I wouldn't expect much from it, but if it would help the country I would gladly pass on mine. But if I pass on it, I expect to actually see that money applied to debt and not beaucracy! Feeding the hungry, teaching the illerate, healing the ill, nope, just applied to the debt!

  99. This man's a real POS to even SUGGEST such a thing! Those of us who serve don't make the choice if we fight or not; those things are shaped by events and policy!

  100. This guy is crazy. I am a vet and I find this to be very hurtful. Did he get off his couch and go to Iraq or Afghanistan? And it doesn't matter if you are a Vet that seen combat or not we all were on call at some point. Every Vet should be treated with honors. IF the government was really worried about saving money than they would reduce the pay checks of Congress men and women. Or maybe they would stop funding stupid programs like the space program. Think about that before you think about disrespecting Vet.

  101. I served as a Combat US Navy Veteran in Danang, Viet Nam during the year 67-68 near Mag 16. Just
    to survive the two Tet offensive attacks is a cheap price my Country will pay for a military funeral. Hell man,
    (mr or ms. editor, you don't know what the hell you are talking about). Bark up another tree!!!!

  102. Is this paper only sold at the supermarket check out?

  103. PolicyWonk | April 2, 2013 at 10:30 am |

    Considering that there are a number (granted, not large) of Congressional Medal Of Honor recipients, amongst other awards for valor in combat awarded to veterans (and active personnel), this seems absurd.

    Where the term hero is overused, you certainly don't have to die to be one.

  104. Miguel Lopez | April 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm |

    Do you ever wonder why third world country have constant Coup d tat, revolution, and corruption on military ranks?
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten."
    Calvin Coolidge

  105. Let's cut costs so we can spend more on weapons and wars?

    Top War Contractors Among The Nation's Wealthiest
    There's the top 1% of wealthy Americans (bankers, oil tycoons, hedge fund managers) and there's the top 0.01% of wealthy Americans: the military contractor CEOs.

    Let's not forget the real reason Bush/Cheney invaded Iraq at the cost of $1+ Trillion tax dollars and over 4,400 American lives.

    Fox News — Greenspan: Oil the PRIME Motive for Iraq War
    America's elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.

    Bush gives NEW reason for Iraq war
    Says US must prevent oil fields from falling into hands of terrorists

    In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is KEY Issue
    U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool


  106. I dedicated over 26 years of my life to active duty service and while I have a chest full of medals, none are for being a hero. As a retired E-8 and 60 years old, nothing surprises me these days . I hope Mr. McClellen, has an unlisted phone number and email because he's likely to be swamped with frustrated and angry veterans, which he honestly deserves. Surprising, his comment doesn't anger me, because I think he's just another liberal no-brainer that happens to write, but keep it up, it shows your lack of compassion for your fellow vets. Why not take the burial ceremony away? Most of our benefits have already disappeared, but a man that once served should know this. My opinion of you sir cannot be poster here, but my personal opinion is you're not much of man and likely weren't much of a soldier either. I suspect you had problems meeting your article deadline and pulled something out of your rear, because smells as such in my opinion.

  107. What service did you serve in?If you didn't serve then this is none of your buisiness.You need to look up the Military Code of Conduct.

  108. joy millet | April 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  109. To put it simply, this idiot has head up his behind. Should go to the nearest toilet and flush his waste where it belongs with all the rest of manure!!

  110. PFC FRED HALLER | April 2, 2013 at 5:02 pm |


  111. 1% serve this guy thinks about saving money I think Obama spends more money on golf than all the military funerals cost I % keeps this country safe not the politicians in washington

  112. danny gee | April 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm |

    this is what is wrong with this world if your heart isnt here than get your ass out, i spent four years in the air force and a very proud viet nam vet wake up man

  113. Verdis Jackson | April 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm |

    Vets should be honor, who is this fool that says that Vets is not to be Honor. Is he upset that he did not get honor for anything. If you served your country you are my Hero and you are a Hero. Vets should be honor. USMC SEMPER FI.

  114. E-4 USMS JK | April 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm |

    someone just slap him silly, all gave some and some gave all. combat or not the borders are protected so this little worm can have his freedoms. enjoy your freedoms little worm, and thank the veterans that protect your rights now as you wanted thanked for your time.

  115. Frank Prautzsch | April 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm |

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch deserves to be ridiculed for allowing such an editorial to be branded under its banner. Obviously the editor agreed or consented or it never would have made the paper.

    The DoD should revoke their press credentials to ever cover or participate in a government news event.

    If we are too cheap to honor our veterans, war or not, hero or not, they were all prepared to be heros and they unselfishly served this Nation with a lot more patriotic and sleepless hours than Mr.McClellan has served behind his keyboard.

  116. Where did this guy serve, my heroes have always been the Marines I was privileged to lead. I can introduce him to plenty of my heroes he should be ashamed to spew this crap.

  117. John Weber | April 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm |

    What cost? I would gladly GIVE my time away, buy the flag and the 21 rounds of blank ammunition to show my respect for a fellow serviceman just as I hope a detail will someday do for me. Honor guard is a privillage. It is to show respect for a service to our country. I have had the honor of being in two honor guards to men I did not know yet understand and respect their service. If you want to cut cost, reevaluate GSA contracts for things like computers, toilets and hammers. It is this country who we fought to defend that is driving the expenses up not funerals for our most honored dead.

  118. hitthedeck | April 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm |

    Our Army is there for us and the least we can do is be there for them by honoring their lives and especially their deaths. Our on active and reserve people who serve this country are supported by a monthly paycheck by the American tax payer and a serviceman holds his fallen comrades with respect no matter in combat or peacetime service. It makes no difference if a veteran dies in combat or by old age. His comrades feel it an honor to honor them in death and by doing so earn the same honor when they pass. It's not about dollars of men that are on a military payroll anyway its about good men honoring each other and thinking them for serving. Most of the honors are preformed by military organizations at no cost to the taxpayers. We are not losing 80 thousand warriors as was lost in the Vietnam war and died in vane without the honor they deserved from the American people. Never again or if again all is lost without honor..

  119. Disgusted!!! | April 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm |

    What an ASS!!! Hell, it's the least and I do mean the very least that they could do for us veterans. What a joke just like everything else that their doing to the military (active and veterans). I have truly lost faith in my government and fellow man, if that's the way that they think. It's amazing!!! He must have been a reluctant draftee!!!

  120. Jay Kelley | April 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm |

    I have to agree on some level with McLellan. I've been in combat, but nothing I did went "above and beyond." Even if it did. I can't see how that it could have ever made up for the blessings of freedom I have enjoyed to the point that it was more than my duty as a citizen.

    I'm always a little embarrassed by the fuss made over me and others at certain times of the year. While I think it's important to remind the next generation of their duty to defend the country against all enemies foreign and domestic, I wonder if our adulation of those who serve is developing a fairy tale mindset that says military service is not a duty of a citizen, but the responsibility of a few supermen and women.

  121. Thank you for your service.

  122. Well I have to agree, we use the word Hero way to often.. But that is beside the point the day we can't honor our troops with a first class funeral, Well I hope it is our last!! I guess that goofy suckers wants the
    family to pick up the tab!! But keep in mind we got plenty of money to keep the old 747 gas up and ready
    for vacation, or millions for the abortions clinic to kill more babies..

  123. The way to cut Government costs is to cut the pay of the Congress, House of Representatives, and mostly the President.

    I and many other Americans feel that they make to much money for the small amount of work they actually do, They need to make minimum wage for a change, instead of getting raises each year and taxing the citizens more.

    As for military honors for Vets we all should get full honors because we are the ones that have made this Country a safer place to live.

    I myself served in Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom and I gave 22 years of my life to defend this Country, I will have my Full Honors.

  124. The government doesn't give every veteran a hero ceremony. The service organizations do that. He should know that if he's a Nam veteran. The government gives you a headstone plaque. They don't provide the funeral honor guard. Private citizens do that and they also provide the taps and the salutes. One of the Obama weekly vacations would cover any funeral costs for probably a year.

  125. Mike Brennan | April 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

    I participate in Military Funerals for the American Legion. It's an honor to give the final salute to fallen soldiers. Many sons, daughters and grandchildren of the Veteran don't realize how important their loved ones sacrificed for us and what they meant to us they leave us behind. The survivors will remember the prayers, poems, flag folding, 21 gun salute and taps forever, it's a beautiful ceremony.

  126. Thomas Reece | April 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm |

    Ah the joy of bashing the military and those who serve. Let us cut all welfare benefits except those of the very poor you know the 1% wow the money we would save. By the way the military is Constitutionally mandated , welfare and most of the rest this out of control federal government is not. Honor the veterans.

  127. David Core | April 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm |

    I'm a retired Fire Captain, and a Former Green Beret, I have worked at several Funeral Homes, The VFW Works with the Funeral Homes and the Cost Is a Few Cups of Coffee and some Decent Hospitality, For Gods Sake, There are a Hundred other Places to concern yourself with Expenses. Get Real !!!


  129. John Boone | April 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm |

    It is just a shame that this person would take away this small token of appreciation from the very
    ones who afforded him his freedom; even the freedom for him to write his column.

  130. I am an honorably discharged Marine 1978 – 1987 and I have a better proposal for cutting government spending that is better than hurting the men and women that actually did some good for our country. My proposal is a pay cut for senate and congress, I also propose that when they leave the office that we hired (voted) them into that they must COBRA their insurance, and seek gainful employment if they wish to keep getting paid at all. No more free handouts for the Washington elite, no more entitlements for the rich politicians that have done nothing more than divide this nation further. I served 1 year delayed entry, 6 years active duty, and two years inactive reserve and I did not get to keep my insurance, nor did I get to keep my paycheck, if you are a senator or congressman I hear that you get to keep both your paycheck and your health benefits for life. This needs to stop, also I might suggest a salary cap with no raises unless senate and congress can see fit to give our elderly the same payraises that they vote for themselves every year. How does this plan sound for "cutting government spending"?

  131. Annette McLeod | April 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |

    My husband was injured while serving in Kuwait and Iraq. No it wasn't a combat accident, but our life is permanently changed. Will he have an military honors funeral? If I have anything to say about it, He will!!!! My husband paid the price and so did many others. Now granted some didn't go to war and Vietnam era was drafted, but my opinion is, if you served you are a hero. It takes a certain type of person to be an soldier or serviceman. But I thankful for the sacrifice and as one who knows and understands, I say that an honors funeral is the least that can be done for the veteran and the family. That is what is wrong with the world now, We are forgetting how we got the freedom we have. I do not think it is anyone's place to say if a veteran is a HERO or not. They are heroes in my book. If they served their country and did so honorably, then they deserve no less than an honorable burial. I can't believe this man. When he dies, just bury him, and then place on his tombstone, Served, but not a hero.

  132. Darrin mcclaskey | April 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  133. Darrin mcclaskey | April 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  134. Warren Lynch | April 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm |

    McClellan= No character. No morals. No ethics. No empathy. No respect. No Honor. Malingerer McClellan is an ignorant individual, angry that he was drafted, so he has a rather skewed point of view of service. Yes, you are proof positive that not everyone who has served earned, nor deserves respect. So, Profile McClellan keep spewing that waste from your hole you provide a ton of fertile material to burn you with, and showcase your disrespect, lack of character and class. It puts you in another light, a very comical light. LMAO!!!!! Like many diseases in this world you cannot cure stupid. Food 4 Thought.

  135. Tom Gainer | April 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm |

    What this writer forgets is the fact that everyone of who signed on the dotted line also signed a blank check to this government up to and including our life. Maybe some did not go in harms way, but they still signed the same blank check I did.

    Semper Fi

  136. No higher expression of love could be given. Life is the most valuable object we possess; and when a man is willing to lay that down for his friends or his country, it shows the utmost extent of love. The tribute to a Veteran at his/her funeral merits no less than this acknowledgement.

  137. It's a shame that Mr. McClellan feels as he does. That so called non-hero veterans do not deserve, because of costs, the military honors at the time of their burial. As previously stated, 99% choose, one way or the other, not to serve. One example is Dick Cheney. Yet he will receive burial honors, and probably be interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Does he deserve it? In my view probably not, but that is another issue. The least we can do, for all veterans who have served our country, is to honor them at their passing, and to recognize for all who care, the service to their country. We should honor all veterans, but lets not wait until their passing., and certainly not complain about the minimal costs to do so.
    An opinion from a Marine veteran.

  138. Just the fact that they basically work for pennies and hour, risk being maimed or killed by the enemy day or night, plus the wounds they carry home with them that never truly heal, justifies the funeral honors.

  139. I've read this person's article and I've come to the conclusion that he's right he doesn't deserve military honor's but everyone else dose he's another Jane Fonda it's ashamed we didn't know it then :-}. Any one that has served their country and had to leave their private lives and put their lives in harms way deserves every Honor that can be gotten. Some of these service member's he's talking about that didn't die in combat are Congressional Metal of Honor Winners, Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze star, oh! yes! let's not forget the member's that's lost their limbs and crippled and wounded and scarred for life most of them only got a Purple Heart and like my self I only got devastated by Agent Orange but oh yes I didn't die in combat I am only being killed slowly 44 years later.

  140. My father (Cpl. Army Air Corps) and his two brothers served in WWII,
    his oldest (Sgt. Marine Corps Reserves) was lost in Bataan in the Luzon campaign (Death March) and his youngest (Ssgt. Army Air Corps) got the hell shot out of him as he flew over 89 missions over Germany on loan to the RAF as a tail gunner and bombardier on B-17's. My dad was stationed at Kirtland AFB in Alb. NM, we worked as an aircraft mechanic there as he was not able to go overseas because he had two brothers already there in different campaigns. THEY ALL deserve to be honored, in my opinion…whether they be a cook or a general…they ALL deserve to be honored in life and in death! Bill McClellan needs to stick with what he knows best…and that is apparently…not a whole friken hell of a lot!

  141. Jeff Leatherman | April 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  142. The Government really does need to cut spending, but let's start with the President's high dollar vactions, and maybe the Senate's Barber shop and the overpaid federal employees, thousands of things we could cut, and this guy wants to cut the last honors of the people that protect us

  143. Warren Lynch | April 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm |

    Addendum: Members of the House, Congress, the Senate and all eligible individuals at Federal, state, local levels for all-expenses-paid funerals, limousines, meals, etc., should be revoked, forthwith, as of today. Let them feel the pinch for once! Food 4 Thought.

  144. Henry Niese | April 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm |

    I served in World War II.
    I am no hero.

  145. Teufel Hunden 1775 | April 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm |

    I seriously doubt that military honors are going to break the bank. Especially when this government wastes billions on fraud, waste and abuse. When you sign a check that is payable with your life, the least the country could do is send you out with a little dignity and honor. I know a guy who was killed in Iraq when a mortar round just happened to hit the porta-john he was sitting in. Is he any more of a hero than the guy who lost his limbs fighting to save his buddies? Give me a break.

  146. Hey no problem, just take the money from the pile of billions you plan on giving to all those that hate us. One thing is for certain, we have an abundance of ignorant people who all of a sudden decided their opinions were worthy of anyone listening. The first problem was sharing this ridiculous meaningless dribble.

  147. Jeff Leatherman | April 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  148. Jeff Leatherman | April 2, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  149. Jeff Leatherman | April 2, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  150. Jeff Leatherman | April 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  151. Gary Nason | April 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm |

    Does Mr. McClelland realize that that honor guard are either active duty or reserve duty soldiers? What this means is that they are getting paid anyway for whatever they are doing on duty. The only additional cost to us taxpayers is the 21 blanks that are fired. If you want to save us taxpayers money do something like dissolving a dysfunctional Congress.

  152. Terry White | April 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

    Mr. McClellan
    There has been military honor for all veteran's who has served. This goes back over 600 years ago. Most of this is done by our national guards and not by the armed service. Money has not been spent. The only thing is a flag is draped on the caskets to bury them. A small grave maker is placed at the head of their graves. Like me I have life insurance that pay's 95 percent on my cremation and a vault to put me in. My advice to you is check all the fact be for speaking. When you pass on you will have this done. The only thing Is the medal of honor should go to some one who has died over sea's. The officers are putting in for medals they did earned and biggest who do this is all the General's and Admirals who sat behind a desk. I am a chapter service officer of my local Disable American Veterans .

  153. I was a Commander of my VFW Post for nine straight years as well as a member of our Military Rites team. We do about 200 funerals per year. The VFW and other veteran organizations do most of these funeral services at no cost to anyone except the organization that performs these rites. Everyone that does them are volunteers (not paid). If someone that has a problem with that need to keep their mouth shut. We have around 30 people volunteering on our team, and they are honored to do this service for any honorably discharged vet, no matter if they were in combat or not.

  154. Bill McClellan

    Thank You Sir for your service to the USA!

    With all due respect, you my fellow Veteran are one of those misguided individuals who drank the Kool-Aid after returning or getting out. For whatever reason, your own service to you is a thorn in your side. Other wise you would never, never lessen and belittle the service of all the rest of your brethren Veterans, by denying them that final gesture of appreciation that this country and its people owe EVERY VETERAN!
    US ARMY 65-68 God Bless The USA!

  155. I am a Recon Marine combat vet of the war in viet nam.
    Funeral honors are for the family.
    I have chosen not to have a military funeral.
    That said I won't be there , si it will be up to my family.
    Vets give years to our country. That service needs to be honored.
    Not just the combat vets but the 10 in support that put one in combat.
    Semper Fi

  156. Luis Corona | April 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm |

    Let's take this point to WW2 Vets, accounting to this nutcase, Audie Murphy, would not qualify to be given military honors? What makes this nutcase think that the line is death, everyone that was a service man or woman, should receive this honor, they could have found a million ways to evade the draft or skip or left the country or never enlisted but they did not, they entered an institution in which they were well aware that their life would be in peril. If this nutcase wants, he can always opt out.

  157. Mr McClellan wants publicity. He could care less about anything else

  158. As retired career military, I volunteered, along with so many others, and gave my country a blank check, as many others, to cash as seen fit. I also served on the Honor Guard while on active duty and do so now on a Veterans Honor Guard, and it is an honor for me to do so for my fellow veterans and their families, What pisses me off is how our Congress and so-called President treat our military and veterans, while they take lavish vacations, let terrorists and criminals into our country with reckless abandon, and steal funds from the VA to hand out "free" Obamaphones, food stamps, medical care, school resources to the lazy and criminal element of this country, with reckless abandon, and steal our rights daily

  159. Ha Bill you must have been a cook ? In the Marines. I was there in 67 and 68. Went in to battle with 220 Marines Came out with 56 walking wounded. We all did our job! To bad you didn’t. Hang your head and be ashamed. You know what you can do with your pen!!!”!””” Dumb !!¡

  160. Everett L Hollins | April 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm |

    Full Honors is described as a Twenty One Gun Salute, Flag folding and today a Fake Bugler with a recorded disc of taps. Sometimes with the whole Army Band.. Most retirees have just the flag folding and the fake bugle, being held by a non playing troop. Arlington has a real Bugler, I as a vet had played close to two thousand funerals. and have been hired since ETS to play five hundred or more today. What I learned from a Pennsylvania Non com was that in the first six months at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md is that all eight of six of us Buglers were playing taps wrong. He threatened to put the next one in Jail and made us get the book and read it and how it was written is far from what we heard in High School

  161. "But we know from personal experience that plenty who have served have given all but their life"…but if they didn't give their life, why would they require a funeral?

  162. As an OIF2 vet, I agree with his sentiment whole-heartedly. The term hero is ridiculously overused and simply cheapens its meaning. And to those who reserver the term for the dead, that's even more absurd; someone who dies scared, crying and losing bladder control is not a hero, regardless of any other circumstances surrounding their death.

  163. VN_65_67_JD | April 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm |

    Although I am in agreement with those that say we need to keep the funeral honors for our Veterans, I disagree with those that say they want to cause physical punishment to McClellan and other that feel this should no longer be funded. Remember what we fought for in our wars – Freedom, and that includes freedom of speech and the right to your opinion. SMSgt Halsted, USAF is correct. In addition, I would like to address those that were in-country during a war but not in direct combat. Those that supported us in combat were my hero’s, they supplied us what we needed in the field and so much more. The field hospital and those personnel were amazing. As far as that goes anyone in-country was subject to enemy fire, some more than most. Using McClellan's thoughts would suggest that if you didn’t die in combat the MOH winner, those that lost limbs, those wounded or suffered with PTSD do not deserve funeral honors? My opinion – Look somewhere else to cut expenses, there is so much low hanging fruit out there that one does not have to look hard to find something deserving to be cut. Vietnam Veteran

  164. vietvet52 | April 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  165. vietvet52 | April 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  166. charles atkins | April 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm |

    Dude what do you consider a hero? i served in combat under two campains desert sheild and storm.. according to your standards i'am a hero maybe not? But when you join the army,air force,manires,or navy, You really don't expect to ever see combat . but when the head of the evil snake pops it heads up it's america's job to right the wrong this snake has created. So Mr McClellan althought you have not ben in actually combat you still sevred during of one america's toughtest time's. Your my hero. You and others help change the way america looked at vets . I know i going to catch hell for writeing but you know what. In the ever famous word Bret Butler in Gone with the Wind ( I DON'T GIVE A DAM). And your why america's respect it's miltary today. Thanks man your frenid Chuck

  167. What a way to suck up to our government, the nut that wrote the article doesn't want to have his military benefits then let him turn down his.

  168. "Ninety-nine percent of Americans are not heroes." WOW.

  169. I can not belive that you are vet. Any man who serves in combat hero or not deserves a military funeral thats the least this gov't can do considering the way that they treat vets. You should be ashamed of yourself for even calling yourself a vet.

  170. Every Idiot has the right to state he's or her's opinion. WHAT IDIOT thought that it was worth printing?

  171. Dave Qualls | April 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm |

    My dad served in the US Army during WWII and father in law served his country on the front lines of
    Korea, both seeing death on a daily basis. I served my country during the Vietnam War and
    feel like all military veterans should be honored in life and death. 99% of Americans never wear the
    uniform, only 1 percent do. You should stand up for fellow vets instead of trying to take away
    what little respect they get from this country. Maybe you really wanted to go to Canada but did not get the chance your comments are appauling to me and other vets around this country.

  172. Richard Bates | April 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm |

    My fellow veteran, let me say that every one I know who served was willing to be in combat. As I was in administration and because of that never was even close to the front lines. Yet friends of mine had to fill the holes when there was a break through., I am the belief that all of us who served our country in a time of crisis deserve the military honor. If you were to use that then this would be a drop in the bucket.

    What needs to be done is the President, his staff, congress and senate need cut in pay this would be a big help; not the little guy who is already hurting.

  173. Steve Ludwig | April 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  174. If Govt cost cutting is really his concern, & what's his name, Ill McFaillan? anyway, he ought to be writting his congressman & representative, at the very top of the govt expense that we are paying for. Put them to test to take a pay cut, there in is where we really need to cut unnecessay pay. Where many of those DC clowns hide their pay raises, at the very end, in some stupid or PORT BILL, almost every year & dont argue & just smile everytime they get their undue & undeserved pay raises. thats where the cuts should start. Thats where u should direct your stupid comments to & leave us VETS alone.
    You know, maybe his claim of having served shoul be investigated, he may be one of those frauds claiming to have served, when he never did..
    SEMPER FI Y'ALL, & that's all I have to say about that, cause life is like a box of choclates; you never know what or who is gona come out of there!

  175. Hate Huffington Post | April 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm |

    $'s for "FREE" phones for welfare recipients and some reduction on INSANE "Studies" like the one still funded to "LEARN" why lesbians are fat . . . would be quick to come to mind. Most veterans honors are done by veterans groups @ little or no tax-payer cost. THEN "WE" have the BILLIONS donated to the Muzlum Brotherhood in $$, aircraft, training and weapons . . . say NOTHING of TV telethons and plane loads of humanitarian aid while AMERICAN seniors Social Security is under attack and given-away to those who NEVER contributed dollar one . . . with a eminent threat of confiscation of our savings from a US Credit downgrade much like the one 'offered' to Cyprus. I am not surprised at an attack on the military from the NewsCreators who don't have CLUE one on how to do inve$tagative reporting – and just shout FIRE in a crowarded theatre or STONES inside their glass houses!

  176. Heywood Yablowme | April 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm |

    Hell yes McClellan…..What a wonderful idea ! While we are demeaning those who wrote this country a blank check for their lives let's take this lameass bullshttye a step further. NO MORE POLITICIANS BURIED AT ARLINGTON ,NO MORE EX PRESIDENTS OR POLITICIANS LAUDED BY STATE FUNERALS. LAST BUT NOT LEAST…ABSOLUTELY NO FOURTH ESTATE PRIICKS BURIED IN ANY NATIONAL CEMETARY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES !!!!!

  177. I am a vet. Since I am writing this, obviously I did not die. However, one thing EVERY vet has done is issue this great country of ours a check payable to every American citizen in the amount up to and including our life.

    If only 1% of the public serves, and not all who serve choose to be buried with full honors, just how much would this country save? Is taking away this bit of dignity really going to affect the overall economy? Or is it just going to further crumble the attitude people feel about our men and women in uniform?

    I for one will not choose to be buried with honors. That is my choice. But sir, do not make this choice for others. It is not your decision to make.

  178. correction, I said "sir"… I meant to say "ma'am". My apologies to the author, Amy Bushatz.

  179. LANSING GARDNER | April 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm |

    want to cut cost. stop worring about what the rest of the is doing.we are not the care takers of the world.we cant afford to send our kids to college, but we can send illigales. seal our borders.

  180. Rayvonne Fields | April 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm |

    That guy was an idiot, and from what he Said there's doubt in my ind that he even served a second on a battlefield. I have done 2 tours in Iraq, both in Baghdad, both doing Combat operations outside the wire. Some units have it worse than others, yes. But to say that people who served don't deserve it unless they died in combat is pure stupidity. I could even go out on a limb and say, if you've never served in a combat zone then fine, yes I agree. But for all who have, from the fallen to the unscaved, you deserve it. And god bless all my fellow veterans who have served at home and abroad. Never let anybody tell you you're not good enough for anything, whether society realizes it or not, we've paid our dues, and earned our respect. So if you live in America, see a veteran, hug him, shake his hand, or say thank you. Hell, all of the above if you like. Just be respectful and glad that they are/were on your side.

  181. maddog 0302 | April 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm |

    It is as simple as this – when one joins the military service, they are accepting any and all actions that their country deems necessary. Some MOS's (jobs) are inherently more dangerous than others but "all" could result in injury or death. Any citizen who takes on this awesome responsibility is a hero whether or not they are damaged in any way. Losses are oft times luck of the draw – but all who serve accept this possibility. Those who do are heroes in the highest sense of the word.

  182. As a Vietnam vet, yes I am no hero but could have just as easily died from a rocket or mortar attack as those that were in the field. But that is not the point I will attempt to make here. For every veterans funeral that I have attended the services were provided by the local American Legion or VFW members, so I am not sure where any money is going to be saved. Not sure if they receive a stipend from the government for their services. Yes, the federal government does provide a headstone if one is wanted; before we stop providing them I think we need stop the ridiculous funding for studying sex life of frogs and much of the other totally ridiculous funding/grants.

  183. Regardless how you feel Sir, Veterans ,yes some in uniform perform full Military Funeral Honors every day in this Country! Here at Riverside National Cemetery,the Memorial Honor Detail (30 teams) has performed over 35,611 services free of charge. We support the Regular and Reserve units so that every veteran gets a FULL Military Burial. Costs & manpower availability because of deployments have for a long time cut the size of Regular/Reserve teams. We still need them because they represent the 'current ' military structure.Our teams will continue to proudly support them . Please checkout my website at

  184. every department in Government has waste lots and all these Government employee with Government credit cards how do you think that working, no one is acountable on spending tax payers money, how many higher ups have there hand in the cookie jar, politicians are so far out of touch with the american people, but just to let us know they are thinking about you is to spend taxpayers money to go after taxpayers guns, oh and take those nice vacations benefit just for having a job in Government.

  185. SteveHoughEMCUSN ret | April 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm |

    The honor guard is a sign of respect in which the veteran will never know, But some what more important is the family of the vet pride and those who loved him…. Mr Bill McClellan needs to get a life.

  186. Wow,First let me thank you for your service.Second Im a younger Vet and have always appreciated what my predecessors have done for our country.I come from a long line of volunteers for this nation of ours and your humility is humbing.If this dude wants to suggest spending cuts lets take away Houssien Obamas golf clubs and Air Force One,cut Congress pay to minimum wage and dissolve the DHS.At my fathers funeral I requested and recieved full honors for him.Thank you again for volunteering to serve this Nation.

  187. gtfo of here with that attitude, almost all combat troops have had to live in dire conditions and perform superhuman feats of vigilance and concentration under never ending stress and danger, often without proper food, supplies, etc.

  188. oh yeah, and all that money wasted on the wars…. didn't go towards supporting the troops, it went to supporting brown and root, and lockheed, and I could go on

  189. Pat Bennett | April 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

    This man and his comment is a "JOKE" our people serve with dignity and respect and protect us while we are asleep. Does he call himself an American? When my husband served proudly for 22 1/2 years he received a Flag to drape on his casket. How much did this cost our govrnment? While Obama's family goes to Hawaii and the Bahama and we have people starving in our military lower ranked. What do you really think.

  190. stadalberts | April 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm |

    That's the best this guy can come up with to save the Government money?…..Really?!
    How about we start with obamas vacations. THAT will save us a small fortune. And how about no health care for illegals?

  191. I'll defend to the death this Veteran's earned right to speak his mind; but I'll also disagree with him until I am buried with those honors myself. The military honors for valor, bravery, injury, etc. are worn in our ribbon set while we serve as a form of recognition while we're above ground. The laying to rest is a matter of thanks for loyal service and Love of Country. It may cost money, but it was paid for in blood to have the right to honor our brothers and sisters who have gone before us. Some money is well spent, with love and honor.

  192. It is scumbags like this Columnist that put America in the state it is now. What needs to be done is take the guilty members of the senate and congress who are guilty of treason and have the UCMJ take care of them and I will pay for the first $10,000 in ammo needed

    One Term retirement is treason, voting on a blank health bill (after is signed then they find out what is in it?) That's treason not keeping the oath of office.

    Anyone in the military past and present did not choose their tours of duty they serve where needed and yet senators and congress who were draft dodgers and misfits of society such as Ted Drive them one way Kennedy are immune from prosecution for their crimes

    The Military leaders are the ones who shouldd be entrusted with home land security not the Nazi's groups placed into power by a savage like the Clinton regime or the Bama who loath the military and what it stands for.

    Hellery Clinton is a pathological liar (self proclaimed hero of Bosnia) and a thief (she looted the White house) How low this nation has sunk allowing these kind of misfits to lead us

  193. John Lepore | April 2, 2013 at 8:33 pm |

    I served with the 563rd trans and the 421st in '67. Many times we convoyed with the 597th. I agree with you completely. We did our jobs and came home to a hostile USA. We all gave the 110% with 12 -14 hour runs 7 days a week.

  194. My question for the columnist that wrote that is…Although you served in country – what did you do? Cook, baker, poge? Did you ever make it out of Division HQ? No, I'm not discouraging those that were cooks, bakers and poges, I'm just wondering where he is coming from. I am retired USMC, and served in Nam as a grunt. Am I a hero? Hell no. I just served. Do I deserve a hero's burial? No. But, why shouldn't I and any others that served receive honors for our service? After all, it's just a few active duty troops that show up and fold and present a flag. It's not like it's costing millions of dollars. I personally think he's a creep.

  195. I am a 100% disabled service-connected Vietnam vet who put it all on the line so people like Mc Clellen can use their Constitutional right to voice their opinion on whatever they choose. I don't care about what this person feels or his opinion on how government spending should be controlled because after all the heroes, whether serving in a combat zone or not, did what was asked of them without question. When it comes for my time to die all I wish is that my country appreciated what I did and if that warants being buried with full military honors then so be it. Mr. Mc Clellen, I hope for your families sake that when you die that you are buried with full military honors because I am sure that they do not feel as you do because long after you are gone I am sure that you would want your grandchildren to tell their children, "my grandpa was in the war and he was a hero."

  196. My neighbor is a "non-hero" vet under his criteria. He volunteered for the Army, ended up in Airborne, jumped into Agent Orange (though the government has never said it ), has COPD and congenital heart failure. He wears oxygen 24 hours a day, has no strength, his health degrades daily. I served 2 tours in Vietnam, volunteer, and saw men like him leave country – in rags, boots falling apart, dying on their feet – and someone has the guts to say they aren't heroes. Now they want to revamp payments to these men so they don't have to pay the equivalent of current rate of cost of living increases. What kind of country and what kind of people are we turning into?

  197. If you don't want your family to have a flag or military honors for you when you pass on is your prerogative but I believe most of the veterans & their families would want this honor!! There are PLENTY of other ways this country could cut costs!!! The presidents make enough money that they don't need the pensions they get after office for years & years!!! The same goes with the congressmen!!! They could never live on what we have to live on!!! The cuts need to stop at the top!!! They all need to go live homeless for a year to see what it's like to live that way!!! We need people fighting for our veterans, not trying to take things away from them!! Look how the Vietnam veterans were treated when they came home!! That was inexcusable!! So I think you need to get your priorties straight!!

  198. I think if McClellen choses to give up a military service at his funeral, that's great. If he is that concerned about saving the wasteful corrupt government a few dollars, that's great. As for me, I EARNED that privilege for putting my life on the line in Nam. Don't speak for me or the 1 % who have served, you haven't earned that right.

  199. eagleznest | April 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm |

    and so we served or are serving, and so they ask us to serve again. i will do so.

    if any and all of us military, past and present, procure the thought of how to protect our nation in such a fashion as to "save" this cost, then i will do so.

    we each know what we did… we each know why we did it… as do our families. our legacy is secured.

    but damned if you belittle us. let us choose where to spend these funds. how can i feel what the family has felt after their family member has paid the ultimate price? i give so they may have…

  200. I am a vet with 9 yrs, and with an honorable Discharge.I had 7 of them years in Germany. I did not see combat. but when i got out, I joined the DAV. in Ohio. We was there for the Military funerals as the color guard,. We played the taps and gun salute and flag. and never ask for anything. For us It was Honor to do this. So if this man can set there and have no clue of something that he knows nothing about, he needs to talk with some one. Yes the military does funerals, and i was on funeral detail for a month at Ft. Campbell KT. But most of them was for Retired Military. I am really hurt that some one could even say anything like that. That is just so discriminating against any vets…

  201. L. Maurice Wynn | April 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm |

    I spent four years in the USAF (1965 – 1969) living up to my oath to defend my County and the Constitution which includes his and every Citizen's right to express his opinion. I'll still put my life on the line to defend those ideals. Sadly, I suspected then and have grown more convinced over the years that a large number of our population (even some who served) will never understand… or deserve, the sacrifices that others make on their behalf. Thanks, Bill McClellan, for letting us know that 3 years in a uniform will not benefit everyone. If you don't want Final Honors make it known now… that's your choice. Don't deny it for everyone else. You sound to me like the kind of guy who thinks VA benefits, Social Security and Medicare are "entitlements" rather than a fulfillment of a contract that the recipients have paid for.

  202. 1dragon1a | April 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm |

    This clown Mclellen has his head up you know were.

    We have 4 generations who have served in WWI, WWII, Korean Conflict, Vietnam and Iraq, the funeral varies based on service and it is not honors. It is a thank you from a greatful nation for ones service to our country.

    Depending on the length of time one serves and his background the deceased is entitled to a certain type of funeral. My cousins for example was simple, an honor guard, the nations flag was presented by one of the solders with the following words to the family "We present this to your family from a greatful nation" these words are spoken to all verterans familys.

    You ask any solder who has served who received any type of recognition for any act of precieved valor (purple heart, bronze star, silver star, CMA, DSC, ect) and they will all tell you they are not heros and should never have been given the medel they were just doing there job and trying to stay alive. Each and everyone of them will tell you "I would give up this medel in a heart beat to have those who died back with us"

  203. dolphincritic | April 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm |

    I know that I don't feel like a hero, yet I have been called that several times during my life. I was first a soldier and then a cop. I will gladly give up my burial with military honors if Mr. Mc Clellan will just let one of the guys I served with in Vietnam be buried with the ceremony that I have earned. My guess is that my Nam buddies would do the same for me. You see combat heroism isn't just about receiving medals or fame. Heroism is about patting your buddy on the back in the middle of the night and finishing his watch or sharing a can of peaches. I am still working and I work with a guy who was in the same division as me in Nam. The other day we all got some bad news. My co-worker looked at me and said, "It ain't noth'in!" I had not heard that phrase since Vietnam. We did a fist bump before I replied, "It ain't noth'in!" Combat heroism is about sharing – sharing food or sharing pain. Any doggie that went to any combat zone has earned his place in Hell and Arlington!

  204. 1dragon1a | April 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm |


    The words spoken are also spoken to those who have died in service also.

    It will be a sad day when our nation cuts this from our national budget, you want to cut the budget cut congress's private pension and free life time medical put them on Social Security and medicare like all of us and see how fast they change their tune about cuts to these programs.


  205. This columnist sounds like a hateful person to me. I served over twenty one years on active duty and did four combat tours. I expect a funeral with military honors, thank you.

  206. 1dragon1a | April 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm |

    Our national budget problems is caused by congress supporting the world, paying off nations to support our underhanded corporations, banks government.

    Study don't make comment on your half baked thoughts of whats going on.

    We spend billions of foregin aid, we spend billion in bailouts of major banks and corporations, who have given there executive bonuses and payraises, even our own state governements say no money no new taxes. Then come into office raise taxes and give themselves pay raise.

    Wake up see whats what before you make half baked comments.

  207. Mark Purnell | April 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

    This comes from an jackass that obviously has never served. Being a hero or not, we have served or serve and put our lives on the line everyday. We what he is/was scared to do, so I guess he is pissed off because he will not get the honors from the country that vets deserve

  208. catt11daddy | April 2, 2013 at 10:10 pm |

    This left wing liberal mind set sweeping the US is destroying American values, morals and families.
    We have a president attacking vets. benefits, pushing for cuts, while he increases welfare rolls by 20,000 making it easier to get benefits. These give away programs are destroying America and they need to stop they cost nearly a trillion a year to support irresponsibility .
    Veterans, send a message to the WHSE. and those that demean our service members and let it be known to all that served honorably we appreciate your service.

    Semper FI

  209. I agree the Government needs to cut spending, everything including military funerals should be reviewed… So how many military funerals equals a golf outing with Tiger Woods, or 20 F16s given to the Muslim Brotherhood, or ___ millions to Planned Parenthood, what are we giving to the U.N.? What about Congressmen and women who get 100% of their pay for 6 years and a day of service to their Country in Washington DC? Seems to me cutting military funerals is simply a red herring…

  210. I served in the Navy from 1971 to 1975 on two ships, went on three deployments to Viet Nam and came close to getting killed a few times. just from operational actions. Working a ship at sea is dangruos in itself in a war zone you are just as dead wether you've been shot or got hit in the face with a pallet of bombs.
    When you serve you promise to put your life on the line and when you die that service should be remembered the grave side honores are for the family's comfort as I remember my father's and his brothers farewells.
    As Lincoln said a gettesburg we do this to honor the fallen.

  211. Marine sgt | April 2, 2013 at 10:14 pm |

    It's sad that for a vietnam vet he never grasp the scene of what a soldier in combat or non combative is really all about. This men and women of our miliatry deserve all honors and more and so do their families. That translates to me was was a wimped and has no concept to the reality of serving our country so that future sons, daughters, uncles etc can have their freedom and as you call it to be alive for freedom of speech. I hope and pray he was not a Marine and I wonder what his MOS was. Anyone know……………..??????

  212. as a viet nam vet , this JERK should know better than opening a can of whoop as$,
    at 17 years old I joined the navy, went to viet nam as requested. served on a destroyer. hopefully saved some Marine or Grunt with our gun fire support. I didn't have to go I volinterred. I lost my brother in law shortly after getting back. Maybe we should be like B.O. and get the peace prize for doing NOTHING.
    It is TRASH writers like this, that are tearing this country apart.

  213. Dirtyoldhermit | April 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm |

    I think Bill McClellan did not think long enough before typing his thoughts veterans are under plenty of attacks from many walks of life, to take away military funeral honors is but another slap in the veterans face shame on you "Bill McClellan" for even bringing this subject up, I think anyone that has served their Country is a Hero some gave the ultimate some less but still all are Hero's.

  214. T.David Lane | April 2, 2013 at 10:34 pm |

    Any veteran who has served, in combat or in peace time should not be condemned to be separated from the fact that THEY SERVED THE CALL OF THEIR COUNTRY. With that said you are telling us veterans that we dont matter. If cutting money is the reason for your rant Mr. I served in Nam how about lets starting with the budget cuts in congress and the federal government. They do not perform their jobs to the moral interest of the people and implement their agenda. SO, start cutting their benefits and pay first because that's where the damn problem is. WAKE UP AMERICA!. I served in Beirut and in Iraq (infantry)

  215. Many of us make a common mistake & that is that newspaper columnists are pretty intelligent people. This
    jackass is proof that is not the case. With all the government waste, he decides to pick this argument. He could not list thousands of other cost savings measures that could be instituted that far exceed those that might be effected if his suggestion was taken. I suspect he has an ulterior motive. I believe in freedom of speech though not totally in the freedom of the press, but this guy should be gone for lack of common sense. Major Sam Poss, USMC Vietnam Vet

  216. My dad was a navy fighter pilot in wwII.He earned 2 air medals,a silver star,a navy cross
    and was an ace.He was buried in a private cemetery with an honor guard and a bugler.
    They gave his wife a flag.My mom was an army nurse in wwII When she died she got a
    plot,a vault and a flag given to me by the volunteer honor guard.I was an army mp 68-70.
    I guess when I'm buried near my mom in the national cemetery a jerk like McClellan will
    say all this was a waste of money and unearned.

  217. Ret. Army Sgt Little | April 2, 2013 at 10:48 pm |

    I signed a number of contracts totaling 22 years of my life Age 17-39, non hero. Those contracts were between myself and Uncle Sam, you have no say in that which is bound. I earned certain rights and privileges, based upon what are called sacrifices. I sacrificed my youth to serve you and our country against all enemies both foreign and domestic. You should choose your positions more carefully.

  218. It is apparent to me that as General Patton said " he knows about as much about war as he does about fornicating" Mr. McClellan pick up a weapon and stand a post like we did or SHUT UP.

  219. Mr. Bill McClellen :I've been doing Military Funerals for all veterans since i came home from the Korean Police Actions ! Very rarely did i see .a military Honor/Color Guard from the federal government perform
    services for all veterans who wore the uniforms of the United States . These Military Services have always been performed by Veterans organizations since WW1 and before. I've been honored for performing over 2500 Military services from my post the VFW organization Expenses were paid by our organizations Volunteers the time , money, equipment , Uniforms , transportation etc., not by the taxpayers or Federal donations . For your information Mr.McClellen , you probably were in diapers while WW11 soldiers made $20.00 per month, for a 24/7 job in Korea, For a 24/7 job 1 3/4 regular army, and 5 years in the active reserves I made $517.00 and you want to deny military services for deceased Veterans all Hero's are dead . You belong in Washington DC with the rest of the loonies who think like you!!! When the Gun grabbers take our M-1 rifles back no Rifles, No military services. then holler foul.,

  220. So, only heroes should b celebrated. How about the thousands of sub normal people target as cannon fodder. Actually that`s all that go. What about that fear that only the one`s who serve on a knows. Do u know what a war is? Around the same time the Greeks and the Chinnesse invented the word CIVILIZATION. So it give `em the right to attack those poor uncivilized people to better them. We know that`s a fallacy. Now a days is a group of the richest boys getting together to steal billions thru the blood of mostly teenagers. U mention bein,g a Vietnam Vet; bet u were a REM

  221. Tommy Harris | April 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm |

    A Flag is a small price for honorably serving our Country. WAR or NOT.

  222. All Veterans during war or peace deserve honor, in life and in death. We all trained knowing the possible outcome. Once I asked a friend to wear his military mini ribbons to a wedding and reception. He informed me he was not in combat. I informed him with all sincerity that when in combat, we took great comfort knowing if we fell, there would be somebody standing in the door at the ready to continue the mission. All Veterans during war or peace deserve honor, in life and in death.

  223. Bill McCellan– i guess u can see by the responses just waht an idiot u are. I'm 3 tour viet vet, 2yrs, 9 months and 27 days to be exact and altho no "Hero", I think I have earned the right to have a miltary funeral (if) I so desire. Probably a lot more deeserving than what ur employers in St. Louis pay u to spout such trash. So to u sir, I say, UP YOURS!!!

  224. Philip Fischetti | April 3, 2013 at 12:00 am |

    Through his own admission he states he is no hero! that's because maybe he was 100 miles behind enemy lines,writing about war he knew nothing about.Sorry to say the press is nothing but left wing followers for the white house today,all of them.!! An Ernie Pyle your not,he was a hero.Gen Patton would have had a field day with you.Sir you are disgrace to uniform you wore,if you wore one!

  225. I come from a large family of Veterns, from great grandfathers to father, uncles, cousins, brothers and husband who served in 2 branches of the service. To not honor any one of them would be sinful and hideous to me.You need to consider how you would feel if we did not honor you for your services. If you were truelly in Viet Nam, tell us how you felt when you returned home to reticule and people whom we can only belived as you do, that money is more important than those who defended their rights. I think very little of you and your comments. There are so many ways to cut spending other than dishonoring our veterns. I cannot believe that you even consider yourself a Vetern, SHAME ON YOU!!! JWCAM

  226. They can't be talking about the 200 bucks you get for a funeral for a vet can they? I am also a vietnam vet. 1969-1971 Yes i extended, I am no hero,but I did my duty for my country. Out of patriotism, i might add. I enlisted for 4 years in the Marines. I did it because I thought it was the right thing. Not to be a hero or ask for anything back for it. Everyone is a hero according to the press these days. Of course who listens to their skewed opinion and believes it anyway! ( Oh. And to bad for me and the rest of us that got suckered by the politicians into risking our lives for their financial gain)

  227. Unworthy Veteran | April 3, 2013 at 12:54 am |

    An example of unfair treatment is in my story that I had to get statements from former commanders to prove what happened to me. A first sergeant refusing to provide me transportation for medical treatment of a life threatening injury. Later he tried to run me and a friend over. He was an alcoholic and wife beater according to the Chaplain who finally got him relieved of duty to protect me and others like me. Then a lieutenant that went AWOL tried to claim he went to the rear to locate a classified manual I lost. Well, all of my manuals were present and accounted for and there is no way I would cover for his infedelity and stupidity. I was facing time until a couple of high ranking officers and NCOs admitted they were lying to protect the Lieutenant until they found out he was accusing me, a squared away soldier. He was given a General Article 15 and booted out of the Army. I was exonerated and left with honors. That's enough to cause PTSD, not just add to it as in my case. To this day, I get overly excited when people start to play office politics. I left my work to get help. I guess that now that my life is ruined I don't deserve any kind of honors, much less that ARCOM promised to me for the achievements made in Germany with the Pentagon inspecting us.

  228. GradyPhilpott | April 3, 2013 at 12:59 am |

    A funeral with military honors has never been dependent on any acts of heroism. It is an honor provided to all those who served honorably who choose to have such.

    It is a way that a grateful nation says thank you for your commitment to our nations security.

    I guess the operative word in the previous sentence is "grateful.

    There seems to be a general lack of gratitude among the populous, who try to feign some sense of gratitude by saying such hollow phrases as "welcome home 45 years too late or just having a yellow ribbon magnet on their cars.

    Personally, I prefer to have my remains disposed of in the most efficient and economical means possible.

    Why should I care what the living do with this mortal coil.

  229. Peacetime Army vet | April 3, 2013 at 1:10 am |

    Well said, Liam. Don't know why the writer is so bitter about his (alleged) military experience. When my turn comes, I'll expect nothing more than maybe a member of my own American Legion Post to render the flag to my widow or family. Costs the taxpayer – and the columnist nothing, and the community very little. Served with pride, served clean, got out with integrity intact. We expect no less.

  230. DJabacker | April 3, 2013 at 2:10 am |

    This man well all I am able to say is, "You Can't Fix Stupid." And Ditch YOU from being a Columnist totally. If your still young enough enlist then talk maybe?

  231. Weather in peace or war, a vet is still serving our country to protect the rights privileges everyone live by. Also the ones that don't go to war work hard to support the ones that are, and maintain the military role for the U.S. of America.

  232. I guess this P.O.G belives that true HEROS where capes and not dog tags. Maybe he is mad that he did not do anything significant. Why do you think that cops and firefights deserve honors and not Vets. BTW, how much does a military funeral cost? The answer… a solder's life! Is that cost too expensive for the gov' to pay?

  233. I was a volunteer and served during the height of the cold war while Reagan was president. No I didn't go to war or see any combat, but being in Germany during that time was scary as hell because we didn't know whether we were going to war or not.We were on constant alerts and always doing training and when Reagan was shot we knew that ws our time. One thing I can say about myself and many other non-combat vets is that being in the military changed us in ways that civilians can't even begin to comprehend. After three years in the Army and all of the indoctrinationwe became changed people. Most soldiers that I know got out and had a really hard time adjusting back to civilian life. We endure some of the highest rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, homelessness and unemployment you name it. And even today people turn their backs on us.The question should not be are we heroes? the question should be are you free?

  234. Honors in its basic seance infers a royal status. Royalty is not readily understood in The Untied States which confers no royal status. We have no kings hence we are all equal men. But it is natural to recognize a king among men, and upon his death he should be provided with a royal send off. Not for the "royal treatment" rather to remind ourselves of reality of his sacrifice. It should be understood that the ceremony doesn't have any effect on the station of the soul, rather it is a indicator of it.

  235. gunny2091 | April 3, 2013 at 7:28 am |

    To Mr. Bill McClellan: I am proud of you for serving during Viet Nam and consider you a hero of the first order, for the simple reason that it was men like you who inspired me to join the service and spend 20 yrs there, and in my humble opinion every man and woman that serves in our military is a hero/heroin and Deserves to be Honored by our country, Who we served regardless the cost to us. As you well know what it cost you to serve during a war. I’m thankful that you survived such an experience, as many others have not. You sir weather you like it or not are one of our nations heroes, and my hero to.

    It Saddens Me To Read Of Your Opinion To Stop Funeral Honors for Vets.

    But again this is your opinion just remember that it was heroes and heroin’s like you that protect this right of ours. God bless and keep you always. From a fellow vet

  236. A vet is a vet is a vet! I was sworn in 4 times! #1 in indoctrination into the Navy #2 Navy boot camp #3 Army reserves, #4 reinlistment into Army reserves. I have yet to be sworn out!

    This guy sounds like a enemy of the state! I served post Vietnam when it wasn't cool to volunteer, but I'm proud as hell that I served for the years that I did you I would do it again! I now have a daughter serving in the Navy and I'm proud of her.

    As someone else had said, being a vet is a family that someone who has not seved can not understand!

    Thank you each and every other vet for serving!

  237. My service at this time, in a retired mode, is to answer calls to take part in military funeral honors for deceased veterans. My "active" service was as a National Guard member for just under 43 years, age 17 to 60. I saw no active duty, so am not considered a "veteran" in the sense used by the VA and other government agencies.
    When I describe my service I am quick to recognize those who served in the active duty status and those who risked their life in combat, even if only for a couple of years. These individuals may not have given their life for their country, but they did step up and serve. And, they did give a portion of their time in life, delaying their ability to attend school or start the family they looked forward to.

  238. My service lacked in intensity of service 24/7 that an active duty person served. However, I feel comfortable that I have served in uniform now for over 57 years. When I stand and salute at the head of a veteran's casket while Taps is played, I know that he/she may have served for only 2 or three years, separated as a PFC and may have spent much of his time in very unglamorous and boring duty. However that was service! I take a deep breath and think of this individual and how our country recognizes this person’s service. And I am proud! Proud of their service and proud that I am able to represent the President, their branch of service and the “grateful Nation.”

  239. But there's no question about federal money paying for sex changes, buying lotto and lobster in the hood, giving 100's of millions in $$$, f16s, a thousand m1 abrams to the Muslim brotherhood, billions in funds to fraudulent solar companies, no question, but when it comes to scewing GI's past present and future I'm glad to see the anti america crowd has their priorites straight…

  240. I live in the St. Louis, MO area. Bill McClellan is a nice guy but, in my opinion, he sometimes sees things in the wrong light; like this susbject. My dad was a WWII veteran. He fought in the pacific for nearly 3 years. Thankfully he lived through the war and came home. However, he had to sacrifice being away from family and seeing friends being killed; and the pay was minimal. He passed away in 2006 and he had a small military tribute of the kind that Mr. McClellan has taken to task. I believe the the tribute was well deserved. My mother could not have been prouder to see and hear the tribute given to my dad. — I served during the Vietnam era. I was proud to serve. Many men that I got to know were killed or suffered life long wounds. No matter how anyone served during that time, I believe a small tribute at their time of passing is appropriate. We see so much waste of tax dollars by our elected federal officals and the president's administration. How can anyone deny this small tribute paid to our veterans?

  241. I am one of your so called did nothing Marines who did not go to Vietnam ,and I have felt a lesser Marine for not going,its the one thing that's bothered me all these years.The part that bothers me the most would I have made it .I have seen the horrors of war on the faces of my fellow Marines and what affect on them has been.I may not want a military funeral or feel i deserve one.But all that have served no matter combat served or,not each one had a job to do and did it with out though of them selves.They deserve that right to have this last honor payed to them.It was an honor to have served and if i were called to serve again I would. And to all that have served Thank you.

  242. Vince Blanchard | April 3, 2013 at 9:27 am |

    Everyone who served in the military deserves the respect associated with having served. If they want military honors they should certainly get them. I can't believe there isn't somewhere the government couold cut enough costs to pay for military funerals for them. Not Arlington but matbe a national cemetary near them.

  243. As already pointed out by others, McClellen is obviously ignorant of the basic facts surrounding military funerals, state of the economy, and the perks that our people in congress receive. He was probably one of those REMFs who doesn't even know that he swore to defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic when he entered into the military. Nor does he realize the extent to which his oath placed on him. So much for his integrity and credibility.

    Eliminating military honors for veterans would be a miniscule drop in the bucket of our congress's deficit spending problem. Better would be to cut the compensations (salaries and perks) of the self-seeking elitists that populate the halls of congress and the White House . . . that would make a rather large dent in the deficit as well as providing an incentive for them to leave office.

    But, God bless him anyway . . . he has the right to his opinion . . . all of us vets have paid the price one way or another for his freedom to express them as he sees fit.

  244. Bronze Star, Purple Hart]
    EVERY person that puts on a uniform does his city,county,state or ,countrys servise is a hero to me!

  245. Why demean our Vets, whether they served in war at home. They served to protect you and what this country stands for. All where on constant alert for whatever might happen. Trained to be prepared for any situation whether be in peace or in hostile territory. Let's talk about budget cuts, lets start with the politicians who get a pay increase every year. When the government initial was set up they didn't get paid, they worked their jobs, but through the years someone came up the idea to highly pay them. So they get their government pay, government retirement pay and pay from their own business. Their salary alone is enough income for 3 people for a year (that is being conservative using 12,000 as a yearly income, and I'm sure their making more than 36,000 a year in their position). So, let's start there lead as an example. (I must there are few politicians who decreased their salaries but not many).

  246. Nice. Well, I served active duty from 1975 to 2001. I cannot recall ever having a bullet buzz by my head. However; I have seen men die. Three disks in my lower back have disintegrated, my knees are blown out, ankles don't work right. 30% disability (officially). Lost a family along the way. Lost count of the oceans, seas, countries. Faced down Russians and North Koreans.

    Yet: Todays mind set is that I am not a "real" veteran because I am not a "Combat" veteran.
    My 24/7 pain and lack of mobility might not be the result of a "combat" wound. Hurts anyway.
    The VA is with-holding my (meager) disability payments due to a clerical error. They say I have to wait 7 – 10 months for resolution.
    Oh Well.
    Don't worry about my funeral though. If its that much trouble for the US gov, let them keep it.
    I would rather not have it if its given grudgingly.

  247. I served in Vietnam, I enlisted in the Marines and I have never considered myself a hero, but in my opinion, if you think someone must die in war to be a hero you are…

    58,000+ Americans died in Vietnam, Thousands will/would never be the same. If You tell me that those men that spent years in POW camps aren't heroes? You tell me that pilots that flew missions are not heroes? You tell me the grunt that went out on patrols are not heroes?

    Living heroes, many of us have seen the vet whose face is burnt so terribly. I think what courage to go out into public. The lost limbs.

    Everyday that I pick up the paper and see more Americans killed it hurts me. I keep asking myself is it worth it. I'm sorry that line about, "Stopping communism" doesn't cut it with me anymore.

    I thank all of you that serve. I am so sorry that so many have had to sacrifice so much. I am sorry that so many families will never be the same.

    I am proud to see that our country is giving you the recognition that you deserve. Again, in my opinion, we can never give enough.

  248. I find it sad that a veteran would criticize other veterans worthiness to military honors. I served in the Marine Corps from 1975-1979. I did not see combat and I do not feel that I'm a hero. But I have served on honor guards at funerals and it does mean a lot to the veterans family. Some of the veterans were a true war hero, others were veterans like me that served with honor but did not see combat. The reaction from the families is always the same, one of thankfulness. Yes there is wasteful government spending but lets not cut spending here for veterans and their families.

    Semper Fi.

  249. Cut the Obama family.trips to cut spending. So far none of them have done anything to earn a vacation. Then cut newspaper costs by eliminating this columnists BS salary. He is obviously a Cat 4 or boot camp dropout. When he checks out the dumpster will be too elaborate for his final goodbye. Thank you veterans for your service. The least a grateful nation can do is honor your final rest.

  250. Can non-combat veterans join the VFW?

  251. Charlie Hess | April 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm |

    Yes I am a Vet from the Viet Nam Era all I ask is respect for my Flag, country and the people that defended it. We should honor all that serve and protect, 95% of Police Officers have only fired their weapon at the range during their career, as many Firemen have never entered a burning building to save a life or have actually saved a life in their career but that does not change my respect for them for putting themselves in harms way for all of us. I know Government spending should be controed better but not to respect or honor thos who defend are freedoms is just wrong

  252. Heroes die evry day from their service in the U.S. Military. From months to years taken off their lives by old wounds, stress , illnesses contracted overseas, asbestos and lead poisoning, toxic exposures, PTSD related co-morbid diseases etc….All who served deserve more than we will ever offer!

  253. Jim C arter | April 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm |

    Bill whaever, you don't even want to know what I think of you a h.
    Why not get your friends in congress to take some of their undeserved perk and apply them to our national debt. ALSO HELP STOP THIS WILD OUT OFNHAND SPENDING THE IDIOTS ARE DOING. obama could stay home for a week and pay for all of it.

  254. Bill McClellan/s piece regarding miiitary funerals is so shallow and ill-considered it hardly warrants comment. Reads like an agent provocateur to me. Did you guys put him up to it?

  255. proud to service | April 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |

    I'm a veteran and a female and proud of it! My late husband was retired and a Vietnam vet. I and his family requested for a military funeral and he got it! The idiot of this article don't deserve nothing from our government. I bet you don't like females in the services! Let me tell you – I joined in 1977, because they expected me to leave, but I didn't!

  256. M Bernard | April 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

    Most funeral honors for Verterans are done by local National Guard Members on their own time
    with little or no cost to anyone.

  257. Hey, I was just kidding.

    Bill McClellen

  258. as a non combat veteran that was disabled while saving a life and serves on my VVA chapter Honor Guard that is the dumbest thing i have ever heard we members of the honor guard spend our own money and time to do this because it is the right thing to do.And the government should continue to honor our veterans and i may not be a hero but to the thousands i took care of as a medic damn sure think i am.

  259. Jim Furco | April 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

    I'm sure there are many other ways to reduce the country's debt.Like not giving away our resources to other countries that are Not friendly, but thats getting into politics. Korea 1950/52

  260. Yeah Rodger, I bet your stupid ass voted for that dumbass GWB twice, that lied to you about WMD's. You're damn fool. Keep watching Fox News, their depending on your stupidity or for that matter they are pimping you like a $2 dollar whore, with their propaganda and bullshit, just STFU already.

    • Dave Heil | May 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm |

      You certainly have a way with words. It is a foul, inarticulate and bone-headed way but a way nonetheless. You have no class.

  261. That columnist has never served the military,If he did he must be some sort of objecter and some one who is afraid of combat I had 9 Invasdions in WW2 and some were close calls.

  262. Bac ci Scott | April 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  263. Bruce Thomas ADC | April 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

    I am a Retired Vetern having served 21 years in two services. Every service member is in harms way by virtue of that service. I did not serve a single day in a combat zone, but saw many service members die. They died in simple accidents, aircraft crash's, fires and training accidents.
    It has been stated that when you take the "Oath of Service" that you sign a contract that includes the destinct possibality of death.
    I support your right to your opinon regardlis of how offince I may find it. That right is one of the many rights that the Constitution gives us, and the Military is sowrn to defend.

  264. trudietrey | April 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

    ARE YOU NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am an American and I do understand what these troops, past and present, have to sacrifice to serve. My son is a Marine – makes just a little above poverty level, has to pay for his food and board out of his meager pay. They fight under conditions that I wouldn't put my dog in and they have to deal with situations and people (children) that give them nightmares for years to come (my Dad was there). They come home, but so many of their memories and part of their heart is with those they left behind and lost. They Are ALL heroes. Every one of them that puts his/her hand on that Bible and swears to protect us. The average person will never know just what they go through – the military is not what it used to be – the troops are tools now and not the boy and girl next door – and they are treated like it – and they know it. They all deserve a hero's burial (and existence). Maybe you need to suit up and go to the battlefield and learn just what is truly going on. I've read some stupid things, but I think this one has them all beat. Grow up.

  265. ed spalding | April 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

    Good, then no congressperson or cabinet member or president or vice president should be honored because they just served(either honorablly or dishonably.

  266. And to say the least….the ones that have taken the oath, have provided a path for McClellan to speak his mind….unfortunately, he doesn't speak his mind well. Oh by the way, is Mr McClellan going to fly a sortie over North Korea, or is he getting his Alice Pack ready to head to the DMZ….I highly doubt it.

  267. Yes, What an idiot indeed! If you served honorably you have earned honors. Every Veteran wrote a blank check when he or she signed up. If that check didn't have to be cashed during their service that does not make their service to our country any less valuable.
    Support Our Troops!

  268. JDE_Austin | April 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

    I enlisted in 1986, served in Desert Storm and several other national and natural emergencies, for a total of 13 years. I am proud of my service but wouldn't call myself a hero. I agree that the concept of heroism is being dumbed down due to over use. I'm not so sure that cutting funding for military honors at funerals is a battle worth fighting, but I do agree that the concept of heroism should be narrowed back down to those who truly go above and beyond, or who pay the ultimate sacrifice. The military has awards and recognition for heroism, and soldiers don't get those automatically just for being on active duty. The only award that works that way is the good conduct ribbon, which is issued every 4 years that a soldier stays out of trouble, regardless of how well they perform their jobs. My grandfather was in the British Army, and died in Burma in a Japanese POW camp. My military sacrifices weren't even remotely in the same ball park as what he went through. Surviving as long as he did under those conditions is incomprehensible. Calling me a hero degrades people like him who are much more deserving.

  269. J.Bloom CSM Retired. | April 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm |

    The person doesn't know what he is talking about. Individuals in the military volunteer for these details. The only money required is for the fuel that is put into the vehicle. These military are not receiving any additional pay for being on the Funeral detail.

  270. Thomas E. Caldwell | April 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm |

    Seriously? Veterans don't get full military honors now…many don't even get a flag and taps even from a veterans group, which is all they ask…This dummy doesn't know what he's talking about veteran or not…I attended a funeral yesterday…the father of my friend…the guy was a Navy veteran…all he had at the funeral and graveside was a flag on his coffin. If service to your country doesn't rate that, and money is that important, we all deserve to die. And, if you've given twenty or thirty years, you sure as hell deserve full honors. I'm a liberal and I don't know what this columnist is, but this stupidity is apolitical as far as I am concerned and it has got to stop. A nation that doesn't honor it's service people, "heroes" or not, is not destined to be a nation for long. I'm a vet. And, if this guy has his way, I promise when I die, my spirit will haunt him through eternity.

  271. Good man, Frenchie. Thank you.
    VN 1967-69
    4th Infantry Division – LRRPs

  272. Boy,
    This clown sure smacked a hornets nest. What an idiot. Sadly, the 1st amendment gives him the right to say anything no matter how stupid it may be. I fought for the right for him to say these un-American things. I am a combat vet with 32 years of service to this country. I have been in several firefights and have sen my friends (both maimed and dying).
    I would submit to all the readers and those that responded. A military funeral is this countries way of saying a final Thank you for your service to this country. It does not matter if you killed people or ran commo wire for your company, or typed out admin reports. Thank you FOR YOUR SERVICE.

  273. I am a Navy vet, I am a not a hero but I would like my Wife, Kid and Grandkids see me get my honor so they could have a good life here in the USA, I made only 16 sorties over North Korea, On the 16th sortie went too low, 14 months POW. My job was to kill people, How many Wife's or kids did not have a Husband or Father for what I did. I was told good job.

  274. If Bill McClellan is so concerned with cost I hope he's passed his on his availability to recieve his own funeral detail when he passes.

  275. While I disagree with the columnist, I respect his right to his opinion. For those of us who served in the military and naval services, part of our service was based on the American ideal of protecting the rights to this country's citizens to have and express their various opinions and viewpoints without being vilified. At least that was the impression I was under during my twenty years of service. Maybe I was wrong. If it is un-American, as some have stated, for the columnist to have an opinion that does not align with what you believe, then there are a lot of graves over in Arlington that should be dug up. Many contain the remains of great people whose opinions were not in lock step with the masses. This is jur my opinion. And you know what they say about opinions.

  276. I am retired from the US Coast Guard reserves ,served for 32 years.My father served during wwII.My father in law served in the Korean conflect #1 ,2# maybe soon to come.This jack ass most likely never served his country in any branch of the military,police dept. or fire dept.He has no respect for those that have served in the defence of our country and were lucky enough to make it home alive or not to be killed in the line of duty. This num nuts needs to move to North Korea .

  277. marinewife79 | April 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm |

    I do believe Mr. McCllellan has stepped in it big time.

    I am the wife of a Marine Aviator, a daughter of an Air Force Officer, the mother of an Air Guardsmen and the Aunt of an Army PFC. All are heroes in my book because they CHOSE to serve their country with pride and distinction. Each one in their own way is a hero to me in that they did the job they signed up for, left family and friends behind to do that job sometimes for months and in some cases years. It is a small price to pay to give all who served in the military their honors when their life comes to an end.

    I am sorry Mr. McClellan feels this is a waste of money. Thankfully, he is not in charge of the decision as to whether our military should receive these honors because they are not heroes.

  278. JV Spears | April 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm |

    part 2 of JV Spears' comment
    And by the way … I know what REAL heroism is. My dad survived Iwo Jima with the 5th Marine Division, and my father-in-law survived the fall of Corregidor, the Bataan Death March and 3-1/2 years in a POW camp. So I absolutely KNOW what heroism is. Did they deserve military funerals with honors? Absolutely. Did they serve their flags? Absolutely. Do I deserve a military funeral with honors? Absolutely not … I didn't earn that, I don't feel. But do I deserve that flag? You bet I do, so my family can remember and be proud. But to discontinue those funerals just to save money? This guy is so far off base, he must be on the moon. Time for a reality check, Mr. Columnist. Oh, and one other thing … I work for a newspaper, too, part of the same group that owns YOUR newspaper. So you better check your mouth at the door before you fire up that computer keyboard of yours.

  279. I am a 27 year vet. I have gone to a lot of military funerals.
    I agree with the author.
    Not that all do not deserve honors but
    Active duty soldiers while being paid should honor only the vets that have died in combat.
    All the rest of us, should get military honors from the American Legion, Navy League & etc.

    • I too am a 24 year retired vet. But I sure do not understand the thinking of you and the other people like the author.
      Perhaps you didn't know, but there are memorial and burial rights that retired persons have that those who 'just served' are not entitled to. Even the president would not be entitled to be buried in Arlington National, unless he was a veteran , and killed while serving in office.
      Come on, Mr. Liberal, get your head where it belongs !

  280. My favorite definition of courage Is "… when the possibility of what might happen is scary beyond reason and you still stand up and do what is right." It doesn't involve actually being killed or shot at but knowing that is a possibility. If he wasn't wounded, he is like very many who served. Just going into the military they don't start preparing your death certificate but a lot had one before they left. Military honors are points of pride as should be our National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the taking of any oath of service. Stop eroding things. Take some pride for a change. Heroes give of themselves.

  281. I'm not sure if this guy has it right. I thought that we signed on as a commitment to serve our country not to all be heros. It was that commitment that a funeral honor is provided not because we are all heros. I would think that he could think of better things to cut than to desecrate the honor that we bestow on deceased service members. After all how are we suppose to mark an individual as a hero. Just because a person has recieved a medal doesn't mean the many people that performed heroically and did not recieve a medal do not deserve funeral honors. I know many members do not get recognized for the heroic efforts that they put forward. I have put in 28 years so far and still going. I have not recieved a medal for being a hero, but I have served without fail. I would hope that I would be honored at my funeral. For some people it is the only military honor that they might recieve.

  282. Face the fact when it comes to people like Bill McClellan you can't fix stupid!

  283. Keef Hamm | April 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm |

    Listen, I really don't have time for this – but I think the debate is slightly mispalced due to the fact that it is actually Military personnel who usually perform this service right now or in conjunction the VFW and other groups he suggests going to are already tapped by the VA. Meaning its a sunk cost. You dont save money by stopping it. We already have color guards and flag details for military ceremonies in almost any area of the country. these are the groups tapped to do the funeral details. They are ALREADY there to do just that – its not like we are spending extra money to perform military honors. I doubt this person is a vet as most vets would know this. Just because the VA is technically the one who says you are owed funeral benefits, its current members who perform most services. Therefore you don't save money. In fact you lose money, because you're already paying people to do that job, and if they don't perform at a funeral in the region that day – its likely a day they sit on their cans. Bad solution.

  284. There is no price you can put on serving our country. Especially when you add on the sacrifice of the families as well! I would love that columnist to look at 20 yr veteran and tell them they didn't earn being honored with a military burial! Tell their families that! Then go look at those hurt in the line of duty but didn't by HIS definition do anything heroic…they didn't earn their right to a military burial with honors??? Is he kidding me? I understand what he is getting at but here again is example of looking at the wrong part of the military budget to cut from!

  285. freeamericausa | April 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm |

    As a 30 year, retired veteran. I will not lower myself to the author's level of stupidity, ignorance, and bodily fluids that can be found beneath that of a whale, on the ocean bottom.
    Millions of Americans who have served this nation did so to allow idiots like the author, the right to sound, and brag about being such an idiot. He has the assurance that the Constitution everyone in uniform defended will never take away his wishes to be an idiot, stupid, ignorant, and just plain American Dumb.

  286. Makes me wonder what kind of military man McClellen was? I served for 23+ years and would not want him watching my back. His first name must be Loser.

  287. Some journalists engage in childish behavior hoping to draw attention to their otherwise lackluster careers. Don't give this clown the satisfaction.

  288. When I joined I wrote a blank check to the people of the US for up to, and including my life, due upon demand, at any given moment. I doubt any union worker at Ford or GM can say that. Military honors at a funeral are the way we honor our own and recognize the sacrifice they made or were willing to make. One presidential golf weekend with a sports star would probably cover the cost of a few thousand funerals! Where should we be cutting things we "Don't need"

  289. I live in St. Louis and can verify that Bill McClellen is at best a PUTZ who simply runs his mouth to simply hear his own voice.
    ANY person who joins the military and raises their hand and takes the oath to support the constitution and defend this country against all enemies forigen and domestic is worthy of military honors, IF they serve honorably. They, in effect, say that they will go where ordered and do what is asked of them up to and including laying down their lives. This is a matter of honor. Something that Bill McClellen evidently does not understand.

  290. Lawrence D. Morrell | April 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm |

    I joined the Marines when I was just out of high school in 1951….served for 8 years during the Korea War.
    Volunteering your service for your country is a heroic deed….no one knows the outcome of their enlistment.
    As in many situations, it is the "intent" that is important and has meaning.


  291. Rev. Dr. Thomas Peavy | April 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  292. I command a veteran's service organization and I can tell you that we would be happy to perform funeral honors but there is a problem for us. We have a difficult time reaching out to younger vets who are best suited for such a task. If the media would pay more attention to us and give us print space and air time, no matter what format they want to put us in (the classifieds would be fine) we can tell these young men and women who we are and what we do and give them an opportunity to support their fellow vets. We all operate on donations and spending on expensive advertising is a bottom-tier priority.

  293. Paul Medeiros | April 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm |

    You have got to be kidding. How do we allow idiots like this to be able to post these things or even allow them to say these things. I guess it must be the guy or gal he is talking about not giving them the military honors they deserve who allow him to talk this way. Its called freedon and these military members are the ones to give it to you. THINK ABOUT IT.

  294. There should be a class in Patriotism at journalist school. Too many act like they come from a different country and like to beat up on our wonderful country. Yes, it is a beautiful country, warts and all. Instead of denigrating our veterans, he should be thanking them for their service. I know he was in the Marines, but I am sure the Marines are not proud of that service.

  295. Donald Husing | April 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm |

    Obviously when he served he did nothing but smoke pot in Vietnam but a lot of HEROS did actually fight and were in fire fights and should be honored at their funeral even though they did not die in the war.

  296. Luis S Jimenez | April 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

    What a fool. I served my country wasn't drafted. When I retired with honorable discharge on my DD214 that means a lot to me. Still have my dog tags. All I know I serve and did my best to protect and make sure my fellow Americans at home or aboard would sleep good at night and besafe from HARMS WAY. He wants to save money fire yourself or just blow your brains. who cares asshole.

  297. Roy D. Hartley | April 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

    As a Vet and PROUD American, I am appalled by Bill McClellan's comments about not giving honors at funerals of All Veterans of the Armed Services. He says he served. Maybe he served in the Russian Army!! Where? The mess hall!!!! Or safe in the rear with the clerks and bootshiners!!
    MISTER, be thankful there are MEN and WOMEN, HONORABLY and with much self sacrifice,that served so you can degrade and defile the Armed Forces that saved your ass!!!
    No honors at funerals. Maybe they ought to bury you in a tincan on some desserted island with no marker!!
    I'll bet your friends don't like you much at all!! Especially the ones who served with you.
    You need to rethink your statement. I'll be the GI Bill put you through journalism school and this is the thank they get.
    I would just go hide somewhere, if I were you. And never show my face again to any Veteran.

  298. Chief Pat | April 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm |

    Oh sure Bill McClellan, let's continue to chop away at things for military personnel while leaving intact all the things our elected officials enjoy, also at taxpayer expense.

  299. George a Vet | April 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm |

    The vets only get a marker for their grave and maybe the most they get to help towards the expensive cost of a funeral is $250.00 at the most and either the VFW or the American Legion to fire off a few shots in the air and a flag covered coffin. the politicians get there funeral paid in full and also get a flag covered coffin and a shots fired into the air for there service some were in the military and some weren't so is that fair for all their funeral cost covered by the government and the vets only get a flag covered coffin shots fired overhead and a measly $250.00 and a marker for their grave, NO IT IS NOT!!!!…. So McClellan put that on your plate for awhile and chew on that and see if you can digest that!!!! I don't care if you died or were shot at or lost a limb or just served in the military every vet should receive their final rights and final honors no matter where you served, there is always that chance you will be called to battle and that is the oath we all take as Vets to serve and protect our country.

  300. Maj Flesher Ret AF | April 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm |

    This all saddens me as I just recently attended the memorial service of my husbands brother who was in WWII and also 'retired' from the Navy. It brought tears to my eyes as 12 volunteers from the Am Legion & VFW (Navy, AF, Army & Marines) gave the military honors and then gave the shell casings to his Great Grandson! There was even a man with a Bagpipe that played all the military songs. And a bugler played Taps. You now tell me he did not deserve this!! How dare you!!!!!!! My husband served in WWII and Korea and he DESERVES to be HONORED!!!! And he will be buried in Arlington along with me. Maj Flesher Ret USAF NC .

  301. Mark Gaunt | April 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm |

    Mr Mcclellan has obviously been hurt by the military-I wonder what it was? Perhaps he wasn't acceptable for military service?


  303. Dave Knowles | April 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm |

    Who is this jerks boss? Where and how do I start cluster bombing his employer with complaint letters and phone calls? This ungrateful piece of trash needs to go.

  304. Lynn Schrage | April 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  305. D.J. Kullik | April 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm |

    Thank you so much for your service! I agree, we all deserve a burial with honors. Some gave more than others, you obviously rose above the call of duty. I salute you, not only for what you did in uniform, but for having the guts to speak your mind.


    SSgt D.J. Kullik
    USAF (retired)

  306. All who have served deserve these honors!!! Just because you didn't win the CMH does not mean you were not a hero in someone's eyes. Then I want to ask this reporter this, who determines whether or not you get these services? Do we then create another bureaucratic level within the VA or some other level of government to monitor this which as we all know in the end will result in MORE money being spent because of the position(s) and staff created involved. Just because you're a veteran doesn't mean you are REQUIRED to have the services. Those of who have served have done so so the other 99% wre not REQUIRED to do and they could sleep peacefully at night.

  307. Ranger4668 | April 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm |

    Unbelievable garbage from the author of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. Could he possibly be some REMF draftee with a chip on his shoulder? I can th ink of few things more important than rendering burial honors to the lowliest private years after he is out. It tells all the rest that what this person did was so unselfish and honorable that soldiers who never knew him, many of whom were not even born, come to his funeral to salute him. Money will never be able to buy that respect of that kind.

    As a vet, I salute all who serve, who volunteer to stand in harm's way should them be sent. God help this country if we ever fail to raise up a generation of at least a few who are willing to stand in the gap for the many, those who will never know nor appreciate the price that has been paid for their freedom. All vets gave some….some vets gave all. Ezekiel 22:30

  308. Solution58 | April 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm |

    What about does veterans with 100% disability and they go to school for the money. The way i see it, if they could go to school then that mean they could work. If they are 100% they should be down grade to 50% and let then finish school and let then look for a job. By putting disable veterans to work you will save millions of dollars.

  309. Dragonfry70 | April 3, 2013 at 8:06 pm |

    The author is spineless. He was a Vietnam vet and rather than standing up for them he joins the folks who made their lives hell. He was probably every leader's nightmare…lazy, difficult and angry. Which is why he has to downplay his own service. For some reason, he thinks everyone in the military has the same motivation (or lack of) that he did. How pathetic.

  310. W. D. Kriese | April 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bill McClellan is very uninformed. It's obvious that he doesn't even know how military honors are presented for Veterans. Fraternal military organizations (VFW, American Legion, etc.) already provide the military honors voluntarily at National cemeteries for all non-retired military Veterans. Retired military Veterans receive military honors by active duty personnel, which is an additional duty and not the primary duty of active military members. In fact, the entire service at a National cemetery is conducted by either the Fraternal military organization or active duty personnel and does not involve any VA employees; paid VA employees schedule the National cemetery services, inter the Veterans remains and maintain the National cemeteries. After volunteering at Tahoma National cemetery for several years and participating in American Legion presentations of military honors on hundreds of occasions, you come to realize how gratifying it is for the Veterans surviving family and friends, regardless if the Veteran died in combat, of combat related injuries or of natural causes.

  311. I serve onboard a fast attack submarine, I have done nothing that I would ever consider heroic; would some of the things I have had to go through completely break a normal man? Yes, I have seen it happen on several occasions. Military honors represent honorable service, not heroic service. The cost for military honors is very insignificant when you look at funding used for congress and senate "bonuses." We need to cut welfare and people with useless jobs. Do we really need civilian security guards at our bases? Do we really need civilians working the counters at the exchanges? Do we really need all of these contractor "experts" to "fix" broken equipment even when military personnel themselves are entirely capable of doing the job themselves? I don't know if my letters to congress and senate have made it yet, but they will, and if you feel the same way I suggest you flood their inbox and I mean snail mail inbox, handwritten if you have the penmanship for it.

  312. Daryl Reed | April 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm |

    I come from a family of hero's, those who served, those who took the oath like my grandfather who served 30 years, my father 10 years and myself 20 years, we are not hero's, but we did serve. We did so because we volunteered to serve our country. Oh did I forget to say my frandfather was in World War II, and Korea as a gunners mate, my father was in Vietnam as a Aviation Supply Clerk and I served in the Gulf War with three tours under my belt, each one of us came home. Each had or will have a military funeral with honors even if we have to pay for it. Why Mr. I am not a Hero, It's for our family members, not us. It's for our next generation to carry on our traditions of taking care of our country and our countrymen and women. I have family members who are young now, and they ask me about serving, why because they see it is a honor to serve in our family.

    So before you say something this stupid think about why people serve the military and keep your personal thoughts out of it, its in our blood we are the 1 %ers in this country.

  313. Let me say this this guy gives all veterans a bad name. Not sure were he get hi info from. As a Navy veteran of 25 years, I have buried many fellow SeaBees and never once did they get full military honor. I had to round up several friends on mine for honor guard an so forth. Not sure how this so called Vietnam Veteran can look at others in the face.

  314. A.George Mertz | April 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

    The cost of all military funerals in a decade, let alone a year, is, I guarantee you, less than the cost of one F-35 fighter, which cannot do the job of even those on sentry duty in the US. Obviously, this person is trying to make a name for himself and probably resurrect a dying career on the backs of those who meet the criterion: "They also serve who only stand and wait". Hooyah!

  315. Frank Gillette | April 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm |

    I am retired from the US Navy, Active Duty Military and Veterans are guaranteed this benefit in writing, if non combat veterans are to be excluded from funeral benefits, then remove it from the guarantees, otherwise shake every veterans hand as they served so people can make dumb statements as they write their columns.

  316. Friel, SK1 (SW) RET | April 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm |

    I've got a great idea as to what this "columnist" deserves

  317. Kim Blank. | April 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  318. I believe this to be a moot point, my brother a veteran of viet nam, was given a very nice send off by the local V.F.W. at no cost to the government or my family.I also understand that a retired veteran gets a full military send-off, but with over 20 years of service he is due more than that!

  319. Rich Tufts | April 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm |

    Being a Vet's wife does not entitle you to any thing but your unfounded opinion! You do not walk the mile in the vets shoes or wear his/hers pants. If you have never been there, you don't know jack about what goes on or who deserves what. Just thank God that the Vet's commitment has allowed you to err your opinion!

  320. I'm a 28-year retiree from the US Navy. Started in '65 in the Tonkin Gulf; retired in '93 when Clinton started
    the cut-backs. I agree the most of us weren't heroes at all. Just doing a job, as any American should. It was my choice that that job was in the military. I'm just grateful that there's a spot for me in a national cemetary should I want it, and I'm perfectly happy with the VFW providing a small honor guard. Seems to me that someone that enlisted or was drafted into the service and spent two or three years on mess duty, avoiding responsibility and making any real contribution doesn't really qualify as a "hero". I'd reserve that title for those that actually stuck their neck out to help their shipmates (or foxhole buddies) survive and complete the mission. Knock off the whining!

  321. let me tell you something I am a vet from vietnam error and I am not looking to be recognized and Im sure no other vet is either Its not our fault that we come back alive as far as the colunist I would bank on it hes not a veteran ! and if he is he has no respect for all the other vets no matter what there M O WAS . so ignor him he must be running for president !! I back up my brothers there the reason were still free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  322. Elizabeth III | April 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm |

    How much money is this bozo proposing will be saved? Most of the people performing the service are volunteers. So a flag and some bullets fired? The cost of amortizing the audio player for taps if not performed by a human volunteer? Some Brasso for the belt buckles and bugels? A flag case? Somebody help. I am trying hard to understand how this would be such a huge savings compared to how important it is to our vets. Give me a break.

  323. You disgust me. Of all the BS that can be cut, example 100 million dollars to the Philippines to teach them English or millions spent other useless programs, education for ILLEGALS, etc. 99% of vets are proud to have served their country and they all deserve a military funeral. It will be interesting to see when you kick the bucket if you get a military funeral you deserve. As much as I hate to say this to you for what you said in the article, but thank you for your service.
    Retired 20 year United States Air Force Veteran.

  324. IM HERE WITH YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  325. I won't even waste my time responding to the idiot that wrote the article….his point is we need to cut costs..ok big guy lets cut off all of the Air conditioning and heating in the jails, serve them MRE's, and put them to work on the chain gang fixing the costly infrastructure problems we have with our roadways….and their payment work is the MRE's and a bed to sleep in. Next area is to cut all of the pork that goes into every single bill that gets forward up for approval. Those two things offer not only current year savings but also future year savings….maybe if we made prison a living hell then maybe their wouldn't be criminals with rap sheets (that WILL strike again) getting released due to overcrowding. Let's see what else I can think of on the list before I get to honoring our vets….like providing healthcare, free education, food stamps and cell phones to illegal immigrants and welfare riders…turn off all the handouts and we might see people trying to get a job and the illegals going back to where they came from… That should cover the honors for the next 100,000 vets that die….and the last vet funeral I went to was my uncles only a month ago….those presenting the honors were all volunteers….so even if the facts weren't right by this article maybe some politician could propose at least the prison idea for cutting the cost out of the government bill.

  326. Every vet runs the risk of harms way. When we join we place our lives in the hands of others….we give up many of the liberties enjoyed by civilians. Ones family or by advanced directives elects for military honors. Here honors are rendered by former members of the military and costs nothing.

    Jude McGloin SCPO USN Retired

  327. Tom Rutherford | April 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm |

    ya see, the man is like all the critics ive read ..they NEVER ask us guys that were there..on the occasion that they were to ask, they wouldn't believe us ..never relate how much is to be saved…ive been to several full honors funerals and the military presence is always VOLUNTARY.., the VA gives only 250$ or so and a plot…I just cant see any savings here…do all vets get the 100% disabled service connected and I would rather have reg service..didn't like Vietnam much anyway. the guy prob needs to be heard but not by me, thank you.

  328. JN Gordon | April 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

    Mr. Mclellan,very rarely do I get offended by anything the media puts in print ( the writers objectivity is always questionable nowdays). But the sheer narrow mindedness of your words had me fuming,especially beings you are a veteran. Background,every male member of my family up to my generation served at least one tour in the military,some of them lost their lives in various wars and conflicts,some were wounded both physically and mentally for life. I was lucky I walked away with just memories of what I saw and did when my country asked me to. There are purple hearts,bronze stars,and my insignificant "V" device for my families service to our nation. You did not bother to highlight any of your actions in Veitnam so I wont speak for you as you Spoke for so many others,whether you choose the honors that are deserved by so many is up to you. Many others have stated other ways in which the countries budget can be balanced lets see if those actions are taken before we show disrespect to those who offered to give their lives for this country.
    Thank you for your consideration
    A veteran of a long and honorable family of veterans.

  329. Norman Davis | April 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

    I can assure the author that many places use VFW, American Legion and various honor guards for funerals. Last Summer I attended the funeral of a good friend of mine who died too young. He spent a tour in Viet Nam rescuing downed pilots then later as a crew chief on Jolly Green Giants.

    He was good man. He loved his family and his country unconditionally.. To me he was an unsung hero. He was interred in a large VA cemetary in Michigan. The honor guard consisted of VFW and volunteers. It was a very appropriate celebration of this person for his family and all who knew him.

    I spend my winters in Florida and in our small town the local AL and VFW perform the ceremony and do it very well. I would certainly prefer a ceremony performed by local residents who are fellow veterans. I believe you will find these groups to be the norm and not the exception through out the country.

    When I pass on to the great beyond. I hope some one will think well enough of me to provide a military service. I spent a tour of duty in Vietnam. I did my job to the best of my abilities. I also was able to retire from the reserves many years later. I don't consider myself a hero, but I am proud to have served my country.

    I hope when you pass on that someone will think well enough of you to honor your service with an honor guard of your peers.

  330. Dave Krueger | April 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm |

    I am glad I do not live in St Louis. I would not pay another penny for the for an article written by him. As a 28 year Vet I find his remarks disgusting. Please bury him in a ditch where he belongs. I will let the American Legion and VFW take care of me as a comrade! Save your dimes for your own funeral.

  331. sargentray | April 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm |

    Well well another jerk! I have 28 years of serving my country and Im retired now . I still serve in a way Im in an Honor Guard Unit in Florida. we have buried 14 servicemen since Jan first, but this is unusal as in the past several years we have laid to rest an average of 90 to 105 a year, we conduct these services strickly voluntary, and at each service, we present a flag, and fire a three volley salute, plus sound taps this give some closure, and solace to the family. most burials take place in private cemetaries so the only cost to our government is providing a flag, or if in a national cemetary a plot of ground. QUESTION: do our service men deserve that? Most men in service get nowhere near the pay they deserve for years surrendered or for family seperation, and all the crap. I guess you forgot Bill did'nt ya. git ya head outta that hole your gonna get poop on it

  332. If he wants to cut spending, how about the VP's recent trip to London and Paris that cost the US over 1 million dollars in hotels cost for two days. Not to mention the fuel expense for the aircraft, etc. Or the 1 million dollar bus the President had made for his trip through Ohio last fall. You can bury a lot of Vet's for just those items alone. These expenses and those who made them aren't hero's either.

  333. I spent 1 year on a funeral detail out of Great Lakes, while we averaged about 2 or 3 funerals per duty day on a 3 section rotation and this was for Naval and former Naval personnel in the Mid-West our distance to funerals was limited, the majority of funerals beyond 75 miles IS performed by volunteers form the VFW, the American Legion and all sorts of volunteer groups. If an Active duty personnel dies, his or her command will most likely assist. I don't know the costs the Government spends on funeral honers, the only ones they pay for are for the true heroes who gave all, the rest of us get volunteers and like me a sailor who volunteered for the funeral detail duty section so his duty day meant more than guarding a barracks. BTW if you served Honorably you can have a spot reserved at a National Cemetery, receive a Flag fold and have Taps, if you retired you get the whole nine yards with gun salute.
    so costs to taxpayer, volunteers and a flag. Go find your pennies elsewhere, quit taking away from the Vets

  334. I was in the Navy during Vietnam and then back in 1984 as a Seabee CE reservist and got 20. I pulled a lot of wire, rehabed and constructed buildings in Hawaii and California. I was never shot at or near a combat zone. I have been compensated fairly and do not consider myself a hero. My wife and I will be buried in a veterans cemetery because that is my right, but skip the honor guard and give that money to a wounded vet. These old farts that mope around with their veterans hats make me sick. Most of them were lousy shipmates anyway.

  335. Egressman | April 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

    I am a Air Force Veteran of 22 years. I have been deployed all over the world in peace time and in war. I put my tail on the line more than once. I have had a at least three close calls in aircraft over Europe and a couple in Iraq. It is part of my benefit for my service to my country that I am entitled too and was told that it would be part of my retirement benefits.

  336. John Royeton | April 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

    I am a retired Navy veteran. The reason we need military funerals is that we have to put our lives on the line, whether we do or not does not matter. We are there to protect idiotic jerks like you who want to express your imbecilick minds.

  337. The first such funeral with honors I attended was for my Father, who served 20 years in the Army during WW2. He lived in a country area and the honors were bestowed by retired VA volunteers. My husband served 20 years in the Navy and always considered it his Family! He volunteered when he was 17. Stayed in 22 years and loved the services till the end! He wanted to have military honors and requested them. They both deserved the honors and it was truly touching. Military men who give so much deserve the honors either backed by the government or by volunteers. My two cents.

  338. wasting your breath all…She is an obvious ididot and probably said what she said cuz she WANTED the big reaction. now shes famous. a famous ass-hole.

  339. Ron Oakley | April 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm |

    That is the worst article I have ever read, I did my 21 years of services, the long deployments away from family and friends. It is an age honored traditional and if the government now see that as a possible reduction, the shame on them. Our country honors our military service and has been on the books for over 200 years, what are we even discussing this issue now. Our country was made because of the men and women that served it in the military or in other forms of service, but we have never taken on why we provide those same options to our executive branch, our legal branch and our congressional branch who do nothing related to military service and are afford the same rights as military members that put there life on the line, Next thing will be awarding a purple heart to congress member for drafting a bill on military actions, were they got a paper cut, and award them a purple heart.
    When does that attack on military members and there service stop this type of non since.

  340. It is mind boggling to try and reason how denying Military Honors for surviving POW's, permanently disabled veterans, those who served in extended separations from family in isolated places, our "silent warriors" of SOF, Intel, or special assignments with State Dept, DIA, NSA, hazardous duties (prisons, jump, EOD, Medics, fire-fighting, HAZMAT/NBC, hostage rescue, anti-piracy, drug interdiction, because they served during peace time and failed to die on a "declared war" battlefield, to leave them to lie in "Potter's Fields" with a scantly marked marker, could save the Country $14 Trillion on the National debt. "Detego Verus Ignarus per Stilus"


  341. I retired after thirty years in the U.S. Navy. I earned this honor. Maybe when this journalist passes we just put him in a trash bag and send him to the closest land fill.

  342. This just shows you can't fix stupid!! You can dress them up and give them a title (like columnist) and they'll still be stupid.

  343. Gunny Nick | April 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm |

    As a Marine who has performed over 300 funeral details, I have say that this is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. The cost of funeral details is almost nothing. About $2 worth of blank ammunition and a little bit of gas to get there. There is no other cost. Just like most "columnists", he is simply writing about something that he knows nothing about.

  344. Jim Stelling | April 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm |

    Hm? If a cop gets killed in a small town like Flagstaff, AZ, there are police and sheriff's cars from NM, CA, NV and UT to participate in the procession. Number? about 100 besides AZ. Want to save money? Stop welfare. During the depression of the 1930's there were white folks, black folks and brown folks that picked grapes or cotton. Nope, no Indians, they were already on welfare.

  345. Harry Mahan | April 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm |

    crap…i just came from the viewing of a friend an hour ago…if this sob tried to take the flag off his casket I'd embalm him Myself!

  346. Stan Hentnick | April 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm |

    My opinion is that American Veteran's deserve the military honors at their internment. The deceased along with the family and friends deserve the military honors bestowed upon the veteran. Look to cut funding somewhere else.

  347. USNavrine | April 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm |

    Move this chump to North Korea.

  348. ThoseWhoServe | April 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm |

    He’s saying that in a drafted military you are there because you have no other choice. People had lots of choices; look at VP Cheney's six deferments and the millions of men who got married, or became teachers, or worked in the defense industry, or served on the staffs of Members of Congress.

    The military honors are an acknowledgment that our government appreciates the men who accepted the responsibility to serve in defense of their country, volunteers and draftees, who answered the call to serve while millions of others were scurrying for various deferments and shenanigans to avoid service.

  349. Shaky Jake | April 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm |

    I think ditching funeral honors are a losy idea. The veterans that joined the service did it for a reason to fight where ever they are sent. All who wish to the contrary are sick in the head. I spent 20 years in the military.

  350. I guess you can be a hero while serving your country. However, if you survive you don't deserve to be buried with honors? That doesn't make sense, does it? All the men in my family servied in the military and survived. They are all heroes in my book. My daughter is currently serving in the Navy; she has servied in Iraq and Afghanistan; luckily she survived; according to this columinst; she doesn't deserve a military buriel.

  351. If the government wants to cut cost they need to look at themselves.. Vets whether combat or not deserve a hero burial. They signed a contract to defend this country and any cost. They basically sign there life away. to protect you and me. No matter what they deserve a hero burial. They sure don't get a congressmans retirement.. They have to serve 20 years. not 4..

  352. frankie500 | April 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm |

    To whom it may concern,
    I am a retired United States Navy Senior Chief. I faithfully and honorabley servered my country and its people for over 21 years. From 1968 to 1991. I was given orders (assignments) and I carried them out. I did not go to Viet Nam nor did I go to the sand BUT I went where I was told to go and I served to the best of my ability. It is not about who goes and who does not go, it is about going where you are sent and doing what you are assigned to do. So you define hero. I say any man or woman who has the balls to put themselves in harms way with the stroke of a pen is A OK in my book. OH and by the way unless you served our country in some branch of the military your opinion means zip point shit to me any way!

  353. Ret SFC R. Tetreault | April 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm |

    There are plenty of ways to cut governments money spending. Lets start by taking the fleece away from congress, put them on the same retirement plan (Social Security) which they stole money from and now tell us, those whom have paid into for thirty plus years, it's a privilege. Take away the pay increases they give themselves, and let them live by the laws they create and don't abide by. Lets make congress responsible for their actions against the American people they are supposed to be working for by making them accountable. The money congress takes in the farce as being their entitlements which they made without the Americans voting or say on it. I bet the country would be better off if that were the case. Stop ditching the veterans that served time away from their families, sometime in foreign counties in the name of serving their country, the USA.


  354. George Washing | April 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm |

    Bill McClellan has got to be in his late 60's to mid-70's and suffering some degree of age dementia. It is not unlikely that in Vietnam he was John Kerry's secretary and cameraman. when Kerry spent three months playing at being a sailor. Apparently, McClellan was as much a coward as Kerry was, hence his subconscious objection to being honored or labeled a hero Neither deserve the sobriquet – Kerry by action, and McClellan by his own affirmation – however, most veterans do, and should be so honored

  355. This guy is just looking for more subscribers to his column. Funeral details are for rendering honors to those who have served and not to bestow a title to our fallen veterans. What he doesn't seem to grasp is that the funeral honors program is also the military's ultimate way of showing how grateful it is to veteran's families who have made their own sacrifices for the nation. So to cut that program would be a disgrace to more than just that one percent. Additionally, If he really knew anything about the funeral honors programs, he would know honors details are special assignments for active duty service men and women and often voluntary for reservists. So what he is really speculating at saving the government monetarily is the cost of gas for a van, a flag, and 21 rounds of blank ammunition. Absolutely worth it.

  356. My husband is a 30 yrs of active duty Navy service, retired Master Chief. He is currently the Honor Guard Captain for the joint squad of VFW and American Legion Volunteers. Average age of the squad is 80 yrs old. Yes they volunteer there time and talent to render HONORS for there fellow VETERANS, at no cost. The funeral home procures the flag and it is a very respectfully honor that every person who has served this GREAT COUNTRY of ours deserves. They have traveled many miles across this State to render HONORS when no one else has been available, rain or shine snow or bitter sub zero conditions.

  357. I am a Marine Corps V eteran and my son is curretly in the USCG as a MK2 in Alaska. ANY American that signs up is a HERO. He may return unharmed he may return in a Body Bag. This is the Choice a Military Person makes.
    He may die by a Sniper he may die by a WMD he doesn't know how or when he might die. EVERY Military person is a hero in waitng and if he dies in the service of his Country he should be Awarded a Military Funeral so his Country can say Thank you for defending us. Those Senators or Congresmen opposed to this should be point on a mission.

  358. rbhutchison | April 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm |

    what a dirt bag

  359. Capt Willaim Walker | April 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm |

    Just because Bill McClellan was no hero and may never have met a real hero, that does not mean such people do not exist. If he is worried about government waste maybe we should start with Obama's travel budget. If we sold Air Force One and made that asshole actually stay in his office and do the people work instead of flying around the country bitching about how hard his job is something might actually be achieved!

  360. Anthony Torres | April 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm |

    I have conducted military funerals for Active duty and World War II Veterans, we all were honored to do this for our fellow countrymen and it took just a few hours out of of day. We checked out a van to attend the funeral and ensured the vehicle had fuel, it could not have cost more than $10 if that….compared to Congressmen or politicians who lie in state with guards, lighted buildings, round the clock monitored security cameras.

  361. Another News Media passing out gloom and doom for Obama. Causing frustration among Troopers
    and parents. I suggest we all should not contribute to this paper, and also flood their office with your
    sentiments. They are probably getting their heads filled with all kinds of adjectives, as I type. I
    believe that this release through the media has a purpose and is connected to the Korean problem.
    What ever the reason, It certainly got the attention of active, prior service men, retirees, and all
    with countless service awards with honor. Basically, when a young citizen puts on a military uniform this is his first Honor Awarded, then throughout his service we honor his achievements and bravery. All he does while serving shows respect for God and Country. This is one issue that all military must
    stand together and run this guy out of the paper business. He lived off of the blood and sweat of
    the military too long and yet he choose to destroy our awarded benefits. What a Blast!

  362. Craftmaster | April 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm |

    Saving money, is real easy.. Get rid of some folks in the White, send them back to where they came from. Tell the other folks that can't hear what we want to get in the soup line. They all think we work for them, and they can do no wrong, there retirement is locked in for life just for one term. I had to do over 24 in the Navy and they get more then us that do the job. Now this person that made a bad remark about Honor among us, who did no time for his country I'm told.. I ran the rivers of Vietnam, it was my job. What we did in service is our jobs, it was an Honor to be in the service. Now ask this person if he knows that it cost a $100.000 an hour to fly Air Force One and the person up front has been in the air more then the other folks before him. I think you can read between the lines who I'm talking about. Now is this PC. Now tell the person that said no Military funerals for all service folks. GO Live In CHINA….Open your trap there and see how far you get..

  363. When I thank a soldier for his service, I do not honor him only if he was in combat. He crossed the line drawn in the sand.

  364. Keith Herdman | April 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  365. Roger Gering | April 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

    Served my 20 in the Air Force. Last year my VFW Post performed Military Funeral Honors 198 times! No one paid us, and we bought our own gas! I am proud to do this for my comrades.

  366. This guy is a jerk……I put in 21 years and I want taps at my funeral. I believe it a sign of pride in my country and I want others (children and grandkids) to feel that pride too.

  367. Like I have always said the LAST place the GOVERNMENT should ever Look to CUT COST is our MILITARY Im sure there are a lot of other places they can get money from and maybe you Bill McClellan should look at taking a pay cut and start sending 30% or more of your pay to the government on top of the taxes you already pay or donate it to the detail that conductes funerals in St. Louis area I can say so much more but I will leave it as it is.

  368. B. L. Nevels | April 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm |

    Mr. McClellen should go after real waste. How often has the tax payer watched Mrs. Obama waste tens of thousands of our hard earned dollars to take yet another vacation? Why are our hard earned dollars going to Countries that most of us have never heard of while our citizens are starving, losing our homes and jobs? Our Veterans deserve every honor we can bestow on them and more. How dare he even suggest that our Veterans aren't heroes. McClellen is beyond stupid.

  369. William Banks | April 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm |

    Amen Brother ! Vets do deserve some Honorarium Funeral ! I dont care what this looser has to say. I was in the Burial At Sea Program out of SDiego back in the late 70s and coordinated some ships with clients. I even had the disctint honor of assisting one of my basic school instructors family in getting him buried at sea from a Man-O-War ship. and he was in a casket, not cremated. Was a touching thing to be one of the last two Navy Hospital Corpsmen to tend him. The last being the ships Corpsman.
    W. Banks HM1 USN Ret.

  370. I am the proud daughter of a Air Force retiree who gave his life for his country. He served for over 30 years with honor and dedication. His family also gave a good portion of their lives by standing behind him to hold him strong at home while he "went to work" to support not only us but his country, My Dad died two years ago because of complications caused by exposure to agent orange while serving in Vietnam. He did not get killed while in that country serving our country but that time certainly did change how he and his family lived when his illness reared it's very ugly head. A different kind of bullet killed my dad. He was and always be my biggest hero. The honors given my dad at his memorial were very important to our family. Pride and thankfulness.

  371. I am a Vietnam veteran. I was Marine infantry machinegunner (0331). In my 9 months in country as part of a Battalion Landing Team I slept about 12 nights on a cot and ate about 16 meals in a mess hall. The rest of the time we were in the bush searching for "bad guys", digging our home every night and eating Korean war vintage c-rations. I was only shot twice, but at 20 years old I was retired due to the injuries, after a year in the hospital. I do not consider myself a hero even though I did my job VERY well. I do not plan a veterans funeral, but alas, I will be dead and not make that decision. That does not mean anyone who signed on for military service does not. The risks are inherent whether you are a clerk, truck driver, or infantry. This man has no self pride and I consider him garbage despite being a veteran.

  372. Served 20 years and would have gladly done more. Still not a hero. When I die put me in a shoe box or plant me where ever it's convenient. I'm dead, I won't care.

  373. I'm a Navy veteran, served 25 years, and a woman to boot. We all served to stand, defend and protect our country and our constitution. So that people like Bill McClellan could voice his opinion, even burn the flag if he wants to. But I question his values, commitments and allegiance. Very little money, if any, comes out of the governments coffers. Most is brought to bear by the member's next of kin. A country not honoring their armed military…what does that say about that country? Spiritless? Honorless? Heartless? Worthless? Hopeless? The military, we are the backbone that holds up the citizens, the constitution, the values and integrity of our country. Not honoring their service would be morally inept.

  374. David's Wife | April 4, 2013 at 12:54 am |

    For 22 years in times of relative peace, he missed Christmases, birthdays and anniversaries, many times because he was in places where it was not safe to leave the base, because anyone in a uniform (or who just looked American) was a potential target. In times of war, he was often in danger under horrible conditions. For all these years he served so that all of us, including Mr.McClellan, could be safe at home for their Christmases, birthdays and anniversaries with their loved ones safe beside them. I have always been proud of him, and we both knew that what he was doing was important, though not nearly as highly paid as a columnist, for instance. If I should out-live my beloved, I want him to have all the honor that can be given. I would want his flag. It should take its place beside that of my father, his father, and my brother.

  375. You want to cut expenses? Stop the huge private jets tghatb shuttle people like Nancy Pelsi around at her whim. But when you ask her about taking a pay cut, she says it's below her dignity. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! We're supposed to tighten OUR belts but don't ask our leaders (?) to do it.
    How about putting a halt to trips abroad to Paris and London that cost over $1,000,000 for hotel rooms for 2 (that's right two) nights that Joe Biden and his army of secret service and other aides just completed not long ago. How about cutting back on extravagant vacations to Hawaii several time a year for the president, his family and their entourage.

    How about doing away with newspapers, Mr. McClellan? We can get all the news we need via computer as we did concerning your story. Put the shoe on the other foot and things are different, aren't they!?!

  376. He wants to cut costs ? Take away the free multi-thousand dollar vacations and spring breaks for presidents families and others. Honor our service members who all stand a chance of being in harms way. Combat vets would be in bad shape without the support of troops that are not on the front lines. This dude needs to go out behind the barn.

  377. I served for eight years active duty, during the Korean War and Cold War and as a National Guardsman in a different branch of the military during the 70's and 80's. I never did anything that would qualify me as a "hero". I decided, long before all military veterans and civilian "first responders" became instant, automatic "heroes," that I wanted no part of the military ceremony. In fact I will have no ceremony at all.
    For those that want the rifle salute and flag, fine, you're welcome to it.

  378. As a U.S. Marine currently in Afghanistan, in the infantry, that was in little to no danger, I agree with him. Why should I get the same honors as someone that died here?

  379. MSgt S McClellan Ret | April 4, 2013 at 2:01 am |

    Politicians start wars. The military ends them. Unfortunately there are no politicians among the casualties. All the politicians who vote to go to war should be made to be an infantry company commander in the theater, for the duration. I'd bet we wouldn't be so committed. At least they'd earn their burial honors. But you shame our name writing this drivel.

  380. I'm a "normal" vet, Navy, no direct action/combat. If I remove the emotion, I agree. I think most level-headed vets in my category would do the same. I agree that combat arms, especially those killed doing that, or even non-combat arms who die or fight in extraordinary circumstances, need to be recognized and honored.

    I feel the word "hero" is bantered around with carelessness these days. Just because you serve doesn't make you a hero. Just because you are a cop or a firefighter or EMT and because 9/11 happened 10+ years ago, doesn't make you a hero by association and choice of occupation.

  381. Bill Penrod | April 4, 2013 at 3:17 am |

    Every Soldier, Sailor, Airmen and Marine that dies on active duty is eligible for military honors at their funeral. Yes even those killed in auto acidents, falling off ladders and those killed by rouge officers rate these honors.. Purple Hearts that an other issue………

  382. Willy Brown | April 4, 2013 at 5:27 am |

    Mr. McClellen is a liberal who just wanted to make some press.

  383. Somebody find bill and put this jerk in a coffee can and throw it in a deep hole a cover it .

  384. This is like saying 99% of journalist (radio, TV and press) shouldn't be protected by the 1st amendment since (lke Bill McClellan) they contribute nothing of value to society in expressing their opinions of the facts.

  385. Butterscotch | April 4, 2013 at 6:23 am |


  386. Anna M. Bucciarelli | April 4, 2013 at 6:32 am |

    Nonsense and shameful! The expense for honors funerals is minimal at best and the very least we can afford any individual who has placed his life in harm's way to protect and defend this nation. I cannot fathom such ungrateful thinking, it is beyond unbelievable. Just being in a line of fire, or giving up a "normal" lifestyle to participate in the military, sacrifices made not only by the individual but the family, often in the line of fire, is heroism enough. I wonder, did this columnist do anything heroic in his lifetime? How many dimes saved does he think will add up to the trillions of debt this Nation is in? Does this columnist not know to say thank you in such a small, yet meaningful way? It was a very high point for me, as a recent widow, to have my husband honored as he should certainly have been after 22 years of service to the Country he loved. There is no way to explain the comfort it brought to me and my children.
    There is no way that this thought should be supported or even considered … especially today with our all-volunteer military. It is such a small expression of gratitude.


  388. First I'm Veteran and proud to server MY COUNTRY. What should be desolved is the retirement given to sentors and congress that only serve 6-8 years and received 100% of their pay for retirement. While a 20 years vet gets on 40-50 percent of pay. 6-8 years and received 100% retirement benefits is really stupid, if not fund waste and abuse. Plus think about it-how many actually day do sentors and congress go to work? Their evalutions for work performance would be less than 2.0. This really makes me sick. Oh, but you can get a PURPLE HEART for playing a video game in air condtion space 3k miles away, while real men are the front line have to lose a limb or save life. Really-playing connect the dots can get u medal higher than a PURPLE HEART. Shame on all of you whom approved this medal for the XY GENERATION.

    • rebelyell29 | April 4, 2013 at 8:13 am |

      RIGHT ON!. I'm also a vet but no retirement. Small disability. But you are 199% correct in your evaluation of the pay of our elected Washington officials. I think that no-one elected to federal office should receive any retirement benefits. Also Term limits on ALL elected federal offices. I also do NOT like the new medal placed above the purple heart and the bronze star. Hope your voice is heard by all.

  389. Neva Maynard | April 4, 2013 at 7:55 am |

    Standing guard duty in your fatigues in freezing rain while the Stevedores was on strike and would not load the ships in California during the Korea war was heroic. Being in a war zone is heroic, If you served in the states was heroic because you never knew when you would be sent. Evidently who thought that up has never served their country like the military does

  390. USAF Retired 1993 | April 4, 2013 at 8:09 am |

    Just like my dad used to say "opinions are like a_ _holes, everyone has one". Although this person is a Viet Nam Vet, he just doesn't get it and if our politicians would get off their high horse and look at all the other wasted money spent on stupid/ignorant projects then the bashing/cutting of the military wouldn't be first in line. I retired from USAF after 23 years and I've never "expected" anything from anyone as all too often it can so easily be taken away. when the time comes, I plan to be buried in my uniform and any honor from my military commrades would certainly be appreciated. My dad was a WWII vet and was so honored by the local VFW. The ceremony was very impressive and heartfelt as not only were they veterans, they were from the community where we all knew each other and grew up together – no better honor than that.

  391. I was a 20 yr Marine spent Five tours in Vietnam, to return to the states to meet jerks just like this this a /hole he needs to be put in the records as [ Hanoi JANE. THEN MAYBE HE WOULD WAKE UP TO THE REAL WORLD ] EVERY VETERAN SUCH BE GIVING THIS HONOR…


  393. It is difficult to find an individual who served that wasn't proud of his service. We just found one and unfortunately, he has a bully pulpit.

  394. All Gave Some,Some Gave All …..nuff said

  395. Proud American | April 4, 2013 at 8:32 am |

    I served in the Air Force from 1973 as an Airman Basic to 2005 as a full Colonel. I am still serving the military as a civil servant at Wright-Patterson AFB. Anyone who served and received an Honorable Discharge, or was discharged under Honorable Conditions, (regardless of their grammatical skills) deserves a military funeral, period.

  396. They showed up and waited for the call to action-that's heroic.

  397. I served 23 years in the Navy. I peformed my job with honor and professionalism and you say I should not buried with honors. Little do you know about life and what it takes to serve as a career military person.

  398. I was a militery vetern who served 4 years, moved my family 4 times in 4 years. Was a national guard member for 24 years. Was away from my family at least 12 weekends a year and two additional weeks a year on training. Lived 150 miles from my assignment base. Paid own fuel and food costs. Sacrifice is what military people do, we may not be the hero who stands in the way of a bullet, but we are the hero who makes the sacrifice to make the nation stronger through our service and willingness to be ready when needed. Their are different ways to sacrifice. Sacrifice the time with your children, wife, friends that you cannot get back. I feel he is wrong.

  399. MPCO retired | April 4, 2013 at 9:03 am |

    We are only heros when the country needs us. First to serve, first to get cut, that's the the real thanks for your service we get.

  400. Guess if we really want to save money, we can cut the Tomb of Unknown detail, not cut the grass in Arlington, how about really saving money and cutting the Waive the payback of Student Loans for all the Congressional Staffers, no more limos, make the congress and others fly on regular air like (with) us or no more protection details. Oh yea we can find all sorts of cost cutting. Hey if we never ever go to war then there would be no vets to worry about. Maybe all this cost if just part of doing business if you are going to have a military and protect the world.

  401. As a retired military vet who served 28 years. Although I was never in direct combat I did serve a tour in Iraq. Has this idiot forgot that for all veterans, "We all gave some….and some gave all."

  402. i served durning Nam, Army and i'm no Hero. This guy is full of shit. Take away the honor of our funeral???? Dude stop goverment waste, gyms for house and senate.Stop there lifetime retirement benefits after one term!!!!!! Theres alot more we can stop but not to "Honor those of use who Served" Come Kiss MY — .

  403. I spent twenty years of my life in the military on active duty protecting the freedom of this country so that people just like Mr. McClellan could have his opinion and I spent the same twenty years to protect my right to state my opinion and that is that I DON'T CARE WHAT HIS OPINION IS !! ALL MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN ARE HEROS

  404. Colonel Mom | April 4, 2013 at 10:26 am |

    Sorry, Bill. My two daughters think I am a hero and they will be making sure when I go, someone will be folding that flag for me!
    Mom & Desert Storm & OIF Veteran

  405. As a Vet Retired after 20 year of Honerable Service all I can say is what a hypocrite. Speak out about screwing the rest of os out of a military funeral after your at an age it will not happen untill your long dead. Only a limited few are able to enlist and go the distance to retirement and as there is nothing special after retirement other then the title "Veteran" the least you can do for someone who served the country for twenty plus years is bury them.

  406. OregonAviator | April 4, 2013 at 10:36 am |

    I served 22 years on the Marine Corps and received many medals. Does that make me anymore of a hero than the Marines who fixed my aircraft? I would have never made it off the ground without them. I visited Checkpoint Alpha last year in the dead of winter. For a couple of decades, soldiers stood face-to-face, inches apart in bitter cold weather with Soviet soldiers, but never fired a shot. Does that make them less than a Viet Nam hero? We all did our part as a team to protect our American frieds and family. We were all promised medical & burial benefits, hero or not, for our service to our county. Unfortunately, there are some piles of crap who lack integrity and want to "save a few dollars". They either work in Congress or newspapers. Parden me while I go to pewk thinking of this "journalist"!

  407. Wonder what our "columnist" did in Vietnam??? I wonder if he ever saw or lived through real combat? As a Special Forces Officer (retired) with 37-years in dozens of god-forsaken places as an enlisted soldier and as an officer, I must say that it is quite obvious that our "Columnist" has little perspective on the definition of a hero. At least he served – probably as a draftee whose college deferment ran out…

  408. Sounds like you have nothing important to write or comment about, its a shame that you would want to comment on the final act that an honorably discharged or retired military member could receive, I feel like if this is all you have to comment about now then maybe you need to reexamine your life an find a new job because your way off the mark!

  409. jdelauter1 | April 4, 2013 at 11:11 am |

    Having served 3 tours in Viet Nam, I am no hero, yet I served with many who were. They did not give life or limb but they GAVE. A military funeral is the highest honor you can give any person who served in our Armed Forces. They are the one's who gave the author to voice the opinion

  410. Thank you, Liam! As a dependant spouse of 26 yrs of service, I feel that the honors accorded veterans are also a reaffirmation of grateful nation to the sacrifices made by the families.
    When you hand over that flag, all those separations, uprooting of families, emotional hardships, and -yes- lack of funds are recognized and that those years of service, whether hero or not, are valued.

  411. As a vet myself, ( non combat ) and dam proud of it, was not my time to go, luck I guess. But as for you I guess it's OK for our government to waste BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS in foreign spending and give aways? THAT WASTE IS ABOUT 1/2 TRILLION a year of our money. You would fit in just fine with these JACKASSES in Washing D.C. who call them selves Congressmen & women looking to screw the American Veteran while supporting the rest of the world. In most cases it's the American Legion and VFW who really do most of these details. As a Marine Corp League member we did many-many of these details because OUR GOVERNMENT REFUSED TO SEND A DETAIL. How UNAMERICAN do you think that is?

  412. You mean to tell me that the President spending 2 Billion dollars on studying "black matter" in space is more important than honoring those who served our country? Have you lost your wits?

  413. William Saunders | April 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm |

    If this guy really wants to cut experience,s then why doesn't he ask congress and senate to give up some of that big salary they are getting. After all we are not getting our monies worth as it is. If you have never been in combat no explanation is possible,if you have, no explanation is necessary.

  414. For want of a nail the shoe was lost

    For want of a shoe the horse was lost

    For want of a horse the rider was lost

    For want of a rider the battle was lost

    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost

    And all for the loss of a horse-shoe nail.

    so who is the hero? the soldier that died? if the blacksmith had found the nail and the country was saved, who would be the hero? the general who led the charge? Everyone who serves contributes to the success of the effort at hand and rejoice with the few who get medals.

  415. Based on this man's (I use the term loosely) the young man who was presented the MoH recently by the President is not a hero or deserving of military honors when he dies since he survived his combat service. I am personally affronted by Mr. McClellan's ill conceived notions of heroism and honor. He obviously either spoke without thinking or has little or no common sense. I personally know of two fine Seabees who cannot function well enough to hold a job or maintain a normal relationship due to Traumatic Brain Injuries received via IED atacks. I consider both of them heros and feel compassion for them and their families because they have been robbed of the persons they were and live knowing it daily.

  416. Bottom-line up front…….this guy is a jerk! Since we're talking about pinching pennies, maybe we should start by eliminating the jobs of ignorant out of touch columnist that work for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Retired U.S. Army First Sergeant

  417. Oh no Mr. Bill. Walk a mile in a Marines, Sailors, or Soldiers boots then come back and make your idiotic comments. And even if you have walked the mile, its jerk wads like you making comments like that, that deminishes the loyal service and sacrifices of our military members and their families.

  418. Gordon Bailey | April 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm |

    By Bill Mclellan's line of thinking the individual who delivers the paper his articles appear in doesn't deserve recognition or pay because he didn't write the articles. Or the police officer manning the desk doesn't deserve police honors because he did not walk a beat. Every person who serves in the military volunteers for that privilege today. Wither they serve on the front lines or stateside as support services they have all made the sacrifice to forgo a different career or some of the basic freedoms that those in the civilian world retain.

  419. MasterSergeant G | April 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm |

    This gentlemen is way off base–like, off the range. Every person swears to defend the Constitution of the US, etc, etc. Doing away with military funeral honors is not going to save any money. Also, the writer is clueless of the burial support provided by Reserve and National Guard personnel across this Nation. Also, there are different levels of burial support provided to the Veteran. Some Veteran families only opt to have a single military person present the flag to the next of kin. The burial services provided are multi-faceted. Clearly, the writer has not done his homework and is talking with no sense at all.

  420. YGBSM. Just ONE of Obama's golfing trips to Florida or Hawaii costs more than the DoD will spend on burying veterans with honors over the course of the entire YEAR.

  421. Reynaldo Radovan | April 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm |

    A sailor was deployed overseas aboard a certain ship, he was not told about their mission and the purpose of the deployment. He left his wife and children at home not knowing the outcome of the deployment mission, bluntly he is just following the orders of his superiors. He died for unknown reason, Does he deserve to be burried with honor? You bet your Big A….h Mr. Mcllelan, He served to protect FREEDOM that you are enjoying right now.

  422. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bill McClellan, just who do you think you are? is there no other story that you can work on, other than bashing veterans, or are just trying to publish your article for fame. Have you even experienced loss of a lovd one that served their country. My guess is no. What if the shoe fit on you, and your the one who is a veteran? Why can't you scroll through these comments, and read how many veterans are in disgust of your opinion.The VFW should not bear the responsibility for something our government should shoulder. Most VFW organizations have a hard time with funding as it is. If you stand by your posting, then why can't you make a contribution to the VFW. Hero or not all veterans deserve the right to a military funeral if they choose. Suppose your newspaper job be riddled with budget cuts. How would you feel then? If you want to offer a sacrafice to the Veterans, then make one yourself. I'm sure your comfortable salary can spare it!

  423. George Bodenner | April 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm |

    I am retired USN, spent 32 years active, 3 wars, 8 ships, a few battle stars but no big deals. Lived with the Vietnamese, shared rat and dog meat with them. I grieve that we walked away when we could have won that fracas, I lost several good VN friends in Commie Re-education camps. I would like to be buried with folks that understand what it felt like to see buddies die, to miss family and friends, but who served because they valued what we have in America and provide the right of this columnist to express his opinion.

  424. This is pretty bad because there such a great point being missed. Tell me something, this columist states that we veterans shouldn't have full honors. The nerve. Yet, when you have a Senator die, or someone in a political position, they get full honors. Are they a hero for sitting in D.C. shining a seat with their behinds and doing nothing but criticizing the military? Most of the time, neither they nor their children (because of political exemptions) have had the privilege to serve this great country? Get real man! If you have never had "boots on the ground" or served in the military, don't even reply.

  425. T. J. Sheridanlll | April 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm |

    this jack ass does not know what he is saying I was a volunteer in 1964 in the USAF and spent 21 years active .I volunteered for nam and had no misgivings about going or serving all over the world .As a
    SSgt I was part of a Honor Guard and saw the respect and love the families received when we gave them the Flag. If he wants to cut the budget their are about 500 people taking up space in the congress and senate who do not work and are taking up space and millions of dollars in salary and benefits not the poor GI who serve all over the world and never know if they will ever get home.

  426. There is allot of fat to trim but they need to look elsewhere. I would venture to say less than 20% of the heroes actually get recognized. In my experience of the seven near misses I had; I only was recognized when a commanding officer wanted another medal. In my view all that served are heroes (from clerics to ground pounders)!!!!!!! Enough said..

  427. cherokee1934 | April 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm |

    This man needs to be put on the next flight out of the USA. If he has no more sense than this then why is anyone even paying any attention to him. I am a Veteran from many years back and have helped during several Military Funerals…they are not always done by Active Military men and women. The VFW and other other groups furnish the Men and Women to do the Honors for a fallen Military member. Taking part in a Military Funeral is an Honor to me, more so if I knew the person.

  428. What a bunch of crap!!!! Let's keep funding all those junkets, free airplane rides, Air Force 1 (and the backup that flies with it, as well as all the support aircraft to haul SUV's, and Secret Service Agents) but lets not honor the Vets who gave their time and service to their country just because they did not DIE in uniform. Forget the hundreds of thousands (yes you read right) of Vietnam Vets who died from Agent Orange complications, as a result of the "harmless defoliant" they dumped on us. They are not heroes are they??? Or those exposed to radiation from Nuclear bomb testing, or exposure to asbestos from Navy ships, or anyone of a dozen hazards that take years to become the death sentence for veterans.
    A flag, taps, and a honor guard firing the last volley is the least our country can do for ANY SERVICE PERSON !!!

    Cut the billions we send to countries whose country we saved, only to preach hatred to our troops and country. Cut the haircuts our Senators managed to exclude from the budget cutbacks, or the earmarks our elected officials dole out to get votes, or the fancy White House dinners, or dozens of perks our elected officials get each year. But, let's bury our veterans without honor, lets forget the families they leave behind, lets save those dollars to WASTE on pure folly. Next we'll cut the burial at veterans cemeteries, headstones, and maintenance of the graves who have gone to their peace. And, lets just sell those cemeteries off for land development or golf courses and save the maintenance cost too!!!
    Shame on this columnist, even though he, too, is veteran. Did he forget those he served with, does he not feel a sense of shame to write that article? Did he not feel for the families of those who served, but died after they served.
    What defines a HERO? Ask those families. Tell them, face to face, that their deceased veteran, whether they were a father, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, son, daughter , grandchild or just plain friend, that the GOVERNMENT IS TOO DAMN CHEAP to honor their last ceremony with a flag, taps, and an honor guard.
    I hope you rot in hell for suggesting that these men and women were not HEROES. But before you do, let's toss you in the ground without ceremony for you maybe a HERO in serving but you are have no sense of respect to those you served with.
    God bless each veteran (yes I am one who served in Vietnam, and for 24 years total as enlisted and officer), on those rivers only to be sprayed with AO. Forget my awards, forget my sacrifice, forget my friends and fellow Navy servicemen, forget being in harm's way, forget seeing fellow servicemen die, forget I was lucky enough to come home alive. And to those families who have lost loved ones or friends either in war or after serving, my heartfelt gratitude and sympathy,for they were all HEROES and deserved (no, let me say EARNED) the right to be put to rest with full military honors.

  429. Former corpsman USN | April 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

    I particapated in many military funerals-local VFW-American Legion and the Purple Heart Chapter had reps at the ceremonies-no cost to anyone=any flowers.or other decorations were donated by the chapters listed.I serve aboard a minesweepere off the coast of Vietnam-we stopped many junks and other small craft for search and seizure always on high alert on the possibility that they would shoot at us-heroic? not really but dangerous at least=so keep on with your spiel-you sound like a disgruntled person having nothing better to do than gripe about being in NAM and leaving there as a non-bonifide hero-tough cookies pal.

  430. Wayne Carlson | April 4, 2013 at 6:06 pm |

    When I was inducted it was 1968 and Vietnam was the destination of choice. Now everyone says that the volunteer army is the real one deserving praise. No doubt they do. They are sacrificing much but to serve but also get more in return. Now I might have gotten out of the service but didn't. Also, when I first arrived at the training center at Fort Jackson the option was there to enlist for a 3 year term and get the MOS of your choice. Well I said I would take my chances like everyone else. So the AIT I got was Advanced Infantry training instead of Advanced Individual Training and went to Nam as a 11B10 though I ended up as a combat engineer clerk who saw some combat duty but not boonie type. Also, I got $90 a month at first like everyone else at the time. Thus by not volunteering I was at the disposal of the US Army as where and how to serve. I do not consider myself a hero but one that took my turn doing a combat role that many were getting out of. In fact, I had been a college student with a 2S deferment hearing how all the duties were being put upon a skewed section of the population.

  431. ibsteve2u | April 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm |

    Me, I don't care if I receive military honors, or not – I'll be too dead to care. But all service members deserve the honors; they showed up and they did jobs that keep the military going. There is an very old poem entitled "For Want of a Nail" that perfectly displays the reality of the importance of each individual to the military's efforts:

    For Want of a Nail

    For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the message was lost.
    For want of a message the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

    That guy or gal who requisitions or pounds that nail is critically important, too.

  432. Richard Jones | April 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm |

    First of all, who is this dumb a@@? If the money is so critical, lets ask the folks in Congress to give up HALF of their unearned salary. After all, the wonderful president is giving up 5% of his $400,000 dollar unearned salary, isn`t that just a wonderful gesture (sic). There is probably several hundred ways for Congress to save money other than not providing honors for our fallen brothers, one of them being all the special interests, another would be GET RID OF THE LOBBIESTS. enough of my rant, scerw the communist–spelled that wrong, screw the columnist. You get my meaning.

  433. Lazarus Long | April 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm |

    You rightly called out firefighters and police officers as heroes in their own way, but I wonder how many of them are actually also part of the 1%. When my daughter-in-law went through the police academy, the great majority of her classmates were honorably discharged veterans starting their second lives.

  434. Leo Gerald Johnson | April 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm |

    This Guy must have been a draftee stationed at one of the sdupposedly Large well protected Army Base's in the "Nam".And was probably a " Saigon Warrior".and his main job was to push a pencil around MACV.Headquarter's .Not privillaged to be stationed at a small Maval unit 77miles west of Saigon in asmall town in the "Boonies".and be surrounded by 1 NVA Army battalion and 2 V.C Battalions.There was no rear etchelions Everybody was on the Frontline.Sobuddy you ain't got no idea of what hou are talking about.In all war's One of the main objectives of a fighting force is to Infultrate the front lines and knock out the other opponent's Main Support Base's and Support lines.Therefore placing those people statiioned there in "Main Combat".Everybody in South Vietnam on 31 January 1968 Found out well their base's were" Secure " which was "Dip Shit"Poor.and they were throust into being "The Front Lines" Period.

  435. Charlie Rugen | April 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm |

    Bill apparently you are lacking information. The military honor is a last thanks to the men and women who served our country honorable. It is also a way to say thanks to their surviving family members. We should continue this TRADITION as many of our traditions have gone by the curbside because of people like you. Hopefully the day that you leave this world someone will be there to ensure you receive the honor you deserve for your service. Never degrade the honor for someone who VOLUNTEERS to serve their country.
    Respectfully, a US veteran. P.S. Should you leave this earth before me and you have no one to ensure you receive the honors you deserve for service of the US, be assured that the US armed servicemembers will be thinking of you and thank you in advance for the service of your country.

  436. I am veteran i retired in 2009, we all raised our hands and swore to defend this country, from anyone that wanted to harm us…We did not have much control of when or where they sent us, but where we were in harms way or not we went and did what what they asked us to's not our fault if we were in harms way, or lost a leg or an arm or anything else..but if they had told us that were going, we went no matter what, we always did our best for our buddies, our selves and our country..and for this jerk that never joined and had no back bone, who is telling us only soliders that die in combat can receive funerals is nuts..we did the work and that is why he can sit here and say and do anything that he wants to..shame on him and all others like him..

  437. Bravo Amy. Thanks for standing up for the ones who raise their hands and promise to defend this persons right to his opinion. I bet Mr. McClellan's retirement is a darn site better than mine as a retired Vet. I feel receiving military honors at my funeral is the LEAST this country can do for my service.

  438. Andrew O'Connor | April 5, 2013 at 12:25 am |

    You have lost touch!!!! And furthermore, I appreciate you have a point of veiw, but it should have stayed in your head and not have reached any ink on any paper. I am personally ashamed that this article came from MIssouri – and especially the St Louis Post Dispatch. Please keep your liberal veiws to yourself and quit insulting the masses that endured the hardships of war. They are all and always will be Heros, and deserving of military protocal.

  439. This guy is one lose nut. The media is really getting to the very bottom of the barrel!

  440. moon Hawk-Watches | April 5, 2013 at 5:06 am |

    … once someone enlists, there is that matter of the "blank check, payable for any amount up to and including his or her life."
    … once someone enlists, s/he knows that s/he can be called AT ANY MOMENT to place her or his life in harm's way; to lay that life down without question.
    … how much more heroic does someone need to be to earn the unlimited gratitude of the citizens protected by that life?

  441. Charles Swartout | April 5, 2013 at 8:43 am |

    Grt a real job woman!! You sure don't deserve one as a columnist!!

    • Amy_Bushatz | April 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm |

      Sir — the author of the column Im talking about here is a "he" – Mr. McClellan. I (the author of the blog post) am simply commenting on what he said. Thanks.

  442. Robert Miner | April 5, 2013 at 9:54 am |

    My son, MA2 Robert F. Miner III, made the honorable decision to serve his country and make the Navy a career. He could have earned considerable more in the private sector. As part of his commitment to serve our country, he was deployed on the USS Enterprise during Operation Enduring Freedom.

    He was deployed a couple months after his son was born. A couple of months after he returned, he was killed in a traffic accident on the way to his assignment on The Big E.

    My son made the honorable decision to volunteer to put himself in harm's way to protect the citizens of our Nation. To honor his commitment he missed the most cherishing moments of a new father's life – he was not able to hold and caress his newborn son and kiss him goodnight every night of his deployment.

    My son was a dedicated and proud member of the United States Navy. He earned and deserved the burial services they provided to him.

  443. OK, look. As a CURRENT military member with 19 years in, I'm going to TRY and stay calm because I can't fault an ignorant person for suggesting such a terrible solution, affecting my fellow brother's and sister's in arms. Why in God's name would he compare his "less-than-heroic" tour in Vietnam to the current affairs of state? Anyone who puts on the uniform is a hero – ANYONE. And I don't know why Amy made the comment “Less than one percent of Americans volunteer to serve." That baffles me completely! ALL of today's service members are part of an ALL VOLUTEER military. Nobody in today's military is here against their will – I challenge anybody to prove me wrong on that matter.

  444. Personally, I feel that the spouses and children of service members are the hero's. Me? As far as I’m concerned? I'm just doing my part for God and Country…PERIOD! My wife? My daughters? THOSE are the true hero's in my life. I'm gone for frequent, long AND short periods at a time doing various……"things". I've missed milestones in my children's life that can't be replicated. I've missed anniversaries and holidays. And when I say "I" I mean "WE" the service members. And let me tell Amy and Mr. McClellan this; I/WE would be nowhere without the love and support of family members. My wife should receive the HIGHEST military honors, as well as my children.

  445. I/WE, the service members, should have the option to be buried with full military honors. What's your next suggestion…cut out the presentation of the American flag to the spouse? Or how about just wrapping the "didn't-die-in-combat" service member in a plastic trash bag and throw it into a mass grave. How dare you suggest that just because a service member didn't die in combat that they should be reduced to just the paltry $255 death benefit.

  446. I'm not going to sit at this writing and pretend to you all that I'm wrapped up in the American flag – I'm not. There are a few things that disgust me about this country, but as history will show, I'm not alone. People will bitch, moan and groan about how our elected officials are messing things up in D.C. and that's fine – be unhappy about it – it's our right to be when we feel that we, the constituents, aren't being represented in a way that is consistent to logical or rational thinking.

  447. But Mr. McClellan….don't you dare presume to try and pretend that your suggested cut will solve, or even put a dent in the current economic problems facing this country. I have no understanding why you suggested such an insulting thing – maybe you weren't hugged enough when you were a child. You should be a trend setter and you should opt out of being buried with military honors. Talk is cheap slick, – so let’s see YOU do something about it and be the first one on your block to give up your burial benefit. Do it publicly and maybe, just maybe you'll gain back some lost credibility. Otherwise, shut your trap and write something more meaningful – like a resignation letter or a suicide note. You don’t have the guts or the hair on your sack to renounce your military burial benefit that you earned. And while you're at it……why don't you return every cent of every entitlement that you received for your service in Vietnam after you returned? I'm quite certain that you have been a longtime recipient of many. What a clown!!! END OF FIRE!

  448. Not every servicemen gets a full military honor's when they die, the family has to request military funeral & some get denied or is delegated to a Reserve unit in the persons area. This is why when you retire you join an American Legion or if YOU rate a VFW post who will provide something similar after you pass.

  449. Al Aguilar | April 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm |

    I served in the Army both reserve and active for 30 years. I was never deployed to a combat zone. I do not consider myself a hero. I also served as a medic and I have seen my share of training accidents, I have seen plenty of heros how never set foot on a field of battle.

  450. Daryl Moore | April 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm |

    Bill McLellan should have his job cut and send his salary to pay for a wounded war Vet. Did he really just say that??!! How could anyone possibly think to try and categorize the different levels of heroism? First of all, we'll never know what many folks have even done during their time of service (some vets may not even know what happened themselves, while they were in the middle of it), since there is so much that is "classified." I say cut WASTEFUL spending, such as unnecessary trips, meals, etc., by ALL of the government and quit trying to point fingers and say who is less valuable than someone else. I am hoping that Mr. McLellan was just trying to stir the pot (but in a sick way) and isn't really this crazy in reality (?) He must have been drafted and didn't "volunteer" for Vietnam.

  451. All politicians need to use the fabulous technology we have nowadays, such as the phones and computers instead of flying all over creation in their tax-funded jets and running up million dollar tabs+ for one trip in may cases. I think I heard it cost local businesses several million dollars in one day (collectively) because they had to shut down everything between Boeing Field and downtown Seattle when the President gave a speech there -and it was mainly for a WA state politician to be elcted and had very little to do with his own job. That was 2 or 3 years ago… That's just one tiny example of our politicians wasting OUR money. So, rather than waste time on this McLellan's ignorance level discussion, let's try and help solve some of the real issues.

  452. I am really fired up to say somethinjg, but it seems the points are being made. Let me just say I support our troops 110%, as does most of our citizens. God bless America and our military.

  453. When a Soldier Enlists he is offering up his Life for His Country! Every day he puts on that uniform it might be his last day on Earth. When he returns to Civilian Life he has put his time in. He deserves a Heros Funeral when he passes on. If you want to take away this benefit how about taking away the benefits of the Congress, and Senate and the President. When they retire they don't deserve full pay and Medical benfits for life. Send a Senator out in the Field and see what he does.

  454. georgette | April 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm |

    whoever this guy is he really needs to look up the word hero because weather it is a soldier,a firefighter,a cop or an ems worker, we all put our lives on the line for others and that is the diffinition of a REAL HERO! so i will say THANK YOU TO EVERY VETERAN I SEE AND THAT INCLUDES HIM, and yes they all deserve to have this type of honors funeral! enough said!

  455. I will not not stoop to the level of this COLUMNIST, but I hope he never has to suffer as he calls it with one of these non-combat death's,NON-HERO Fureral's. I started to use cuss words but I'm really,really Perturbed at at this A-HOLE, excuse my talk,when he passes don't he want any one to show up at the Fureral, good he does not deserve HONOR's when he DIES. Thank You to all past,present and future VETERAN'S you are in my eyes all heroes. I wish this person would live to be 200 yrs. old and see his whole family pass away a head of him. "Veteran's Forever all of us", Snoopy.

  456. Dave Bradley | April 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm |

    I served during the Vietnam war. Although I did not go "in country" I did two tours off the coast. 20 and 1/2 months all total. Was I a hero. No. The hero's are the marines who flew the helo's off the ship to land troops. The hero's are the marines who made the landings. They are the hero's. I just served on board the ship and watched men who were mostly my age go in harm's way. It was hard for me to do because I was the one that typed up the ops order's to send the fine young men into harms way. No matter if you served in combat or not if you put on the uniform of any branch of service you deserve the funeral of your choice. My great uncle served in the Marines for 25 years. Wounded on Okinawa, wounded at the Chosin in Korea. He earned the honor and he got it. Was he a hero. In my eyes he was every bit of a hero. I was dam proud to render the hand salute at his funeral. It was out of respect for a great person and one hell of a MARINE. Don't even think of cutting out this service.

  457. I have read both pros and cons here but I believe that any man or woman who serves our military deserves the right to be buried with honors as members of our armed forces in wartime or not. Whether they served on the front lines, in the air, on a ship or in the rear of the war. They did thier jobs like any other warrior and deserves the honor of being a hero of this country. While My husband who spent over twenty years serving this country did not have to go to war he server her just the same. We all knew at anytime he could be in a war situation. He deserves the honor of a military funeral just like any other soldier in my book. Do not forget that the wives of these men did their time as well. And our husbands deserve the right to be laid to rest with honor for their service. God smiled down on all of them and took who he needed to take and left those that were still needed here to continue on. Don’t tell me that these men and women do not deserve the right to a military funeral. How dare this man be so blantant as to suggest that our soldiers don’t deserve this. Shame on him and those that think like him. I remember seeing the soldiers coming home and how they were treated and it was wrong. I remember the Hostage crisis, I remember the ships that went over to get those people my husband was there. I even remember the Nimitz fire off the coast of Fl and those than were injured and died. It was only God that kept my husband safe that night. So don’t tell me that soldiers and sailors not in combat are at any less of a risk of dying in our armed forces. They all served with honor.

  458. I believe that there should be a clear distinction between veterans who served in the war and those who served during the war, and the level of benefits and honor they receive.

  459. Terry Lewis | April 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm |

    If you took the oath to defend this country and served in the military, you should be honored in death.
    I too am a veteran of Viet Nam and this guy makes me sick.

  460. Amy from Mass | April 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm |

    This writer should be fired, anti and un American piece of garbage. It's easy to armchair criticize with an elitist nose in the air, I hope to God Bill McClellan needs a Veteran and they just spit on him and walk away.

  461. Former Vet | April 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm |

    I served, and was recalled to active duty for one of the recent events. Although I don't consider myself a "hero". I gave more than my share and carried a heavy load that others could or would not bear, all for my country. I sacrificed during what was already a very hard time for me and asked for nothing in return under the leadership of someone I cared not for, all for my country. When the reporters came on board and wanted to interview people I turned them away because I did not believe in the cause that we supposedly fought for but I stood by my country. I served 20 years and when I die I would hope, if I should become homeless or down on my luck, that this country could find a place for me to rest, at the expense of my country??

  462. Stephen Mitura | April 7, 2013 at 12:32 am |

    As a proud Vietnam veteran and respectfully doing my job as an arty survey soldier in support of our firing batteries that were firing in direct support of the 1st Australian Task Force, I will state that I do not claim to be a hero, however I do believe I did the honorable task and served when my country called upon me to. Digging into make shift bunkers in bomb craters on the Cambodian border every night for a week and incurring nightly mad minute fire fights I believe put me in harm's way! 1970 was the year and Kent State was going down and we were the bad guys, go figure? No, I am not a hero but our past presidents were draft dodgers. Our past Vice President had five deferments to get himself out of serving in combat, yet he was the architect of a war that didn't need to happen! Will they receive honors when they pass, I would suspect yes? I would like to tell Mr. Mc Clennan to use his talent and write about something beneficial for our nation. Denigrating veterans the 1 % that serve our country is not worthy of the paper you are posting this nonsense on.

  463. William Shoemaker | April 7, 2013 at 10:41 am |

    I am a Disabled Vietnam Veteran with two purple hearts and I don't consider myself a hero I knew several heroes but they didn't make it home. The government does not pay for all the funerals, the family does. The Veterans organization furnishes the ceremony and the Flag to these HEROES. Mr. McClellan get your stories strait before you send them to print.

  464. As a military vet of 23 yrs AF service…I salute Mr Shoemaker for his factual input regards to military funerals…Mr McClellan is so far out of line with his comments and trying to justify himself. Our society has completely eliminated the true understanding and meaning of the word "hero". The military has always shown the highest regard for the personage of a "hero" You do not have to suffer and die to be a hero.When you raise your hand to take the oath and go through "military basic" training it is instilled in you, to take pride in the uniform you wear and to understand that you are a part of the United States Military and what is expected of you. You can serve 4 yrs, 8 yrs 20 yrs or 30 + yrs it matters not. What matters is that when you pass on from this life, the military remembers your service and respectfully honors that service. A military funeral is not an extravagant or costly activity. The Honor Guards are there in place to support the activity or are made up of volunteers. To write such a column for public view without through knowledge only fuels the fire of our so uninformed society. Allowing them to not understand at all the value of our military members, active,retired, and passed on. He really owes us a big apology.

  465. The column deserves some thought, not rash reactions, and it leaves me, a veteran from the sixties, with mixed feelings. The only thing "heroic" that I did in my military time was to stand up to some NCO bullies who made a lot of guys miserable just because they could. Overall, I think vets have been used while being given endless lip service, whether it was in the last year or the last century. And inconsistency is the only consistency of our attitudes toward veterans. We had no GI bill when I got out in 1963, but they brought it back once I had finished college, so it's always a bit of luck as to whether or not you get any benefits, if you can surivive the bureaucracy and paperwork (which may be the most heroic effort of all?).

  466. a.j. Hatcher | April 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm |

    I am truly disappointed , that a newspaper columnist would feel and write such an article. Do you not have any feelings for the families that sends their kids in the military to serve their country, and to protect your freedom of speech as well as yours. Theres a church in Kansas that could use a writer as you, seems you have the same opinions. Sleep well Mr. McClellan with warm and happy thoughts.

  467. Mazar Larry | April 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm |

    Making the ceremony less expensive makes sense. Defining hero, does not. You're a hero because you got shot and the guy in the next foxhole didn't?

  468. Frederick Zirin | April 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm |

    I served on active duty for 3 years, then went into reserve status in order to complete my education. I maintained my reserve status, finally retiring after 20 good years in 2004 when I developed a crippling arthritic condition. After years of pain and therapy, I sought to return to active duty or reserve status, finally returning in 2010, to complete a dedicated career of over 30 years, which ended in 2012 when I turned 60. I may not have been deployed, having my life at risk, but serving completely, proud to contribute to the success of any and all missions, and to say when it is all done, "I did my best, sir"
    I was stationed in Germany. I quote "The only way for evil men to succeed is for good men to do nothing" I want Taps played over my grave. I want my daughters to be presented a firmly and crisply folded flag. Is the cost of that small service that much of a financial burden to this great country of ours who we swore to defend and represent to the world outside? I don't think so. And I am sure many other veterans feel the same way. Sir !

  469. vegasartist | April 10, 2013 at 12:05 am |

    A veteran is anyone who at one point in their life wrote a check up to and including their life. I don’t know about you, but I sure enjoyed that guy back home during my war that sent us our checks, the folks who were going through boot camp while I was on a ship, or whoever – the guy who did our laundry. It doesn’t matter. We all wear many hats. I was on a hospital ship and I did stretcher bearer duty, I was a cook and I felt good about feeding 1500 or so hungry sailors and then I got a stripe and I got punched in the arm on the “crow” many times so it wouldn’t fly away. In other words – don’t lose that rank. Many that hurt! But it’s a sign of respect. How do you “define” hero? My dad was a hero to me and he didn’t serve. But he got up to go to work every day for 40 years and never complained and gave me a lot of money to start my life and get a house and stuff like that. We lost him a couple of years ago and I still go to call him to tell him about my day and I lower my head to pray. But I do the same about the boiler tech I went to boot camp whose name escapes me, but whose smiling face I will never forget. He was the guy who made out the “watch” schedule in boot camp and he liked me so he always kept me off the graveyard shift. He was a boilter-tech on the Iwo-Jima and the boiler blew up and him too. When I heard this I cried. I now have Gulf War Illness and I am very angry because the VA does not give me the pension I deserve, but hey – I’m alive. I made it back. If you ask me, for the sake of anyone who served for even a few days, or a reservist, no matter what the job or anything. As long as you got that honorable discharge, you deserve an honorable send-off. God help me if I don’t get mine! I will come back to haunt some budget cutters! I will make sure that some cuts get made to them – maybe “THe Donald” who is actually a veteran himself and is probably all for cutting this – well, maybe when he passes we should make sure that protestors show up at his funeral and don’t let him have the honors either! Of course that will never happen – but hey, GOD is the ultimate law-maker and I’m more afraid of him than any judge, politician, reporter or rich jerks on this planet! Amen and to hell with the non-patriots! We are all americans first and to hell with politics. I didn’t post this for a cheap spam, but I hope that it’s ok to post a link to my blog. It’s not to sell anything. It’s just a guy talking about raising awareness for Gulf War Syndrome! Thanks for everyone who served no matter what you did!! To hell with the budget cutters – I would show up and salute you for FREE any day any time!

  470. Lt Col - USAF | April 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

    I didn't give this article the time to read it, because such a topic does not deserve it. This author should consider whether she is a journalist or an aspiring contributor to sensationalist publications such as 'The National Enquirer'. My bottom line- should've my 82 y.o father-in-law, (Polish Jewish immigrant to the US in the 1920s) Air Force retiree who flew combat bombing missions over Germany during WWII, and at the time of his reassignment had the most combat missions of any crew member in Europe, not have been afforded the honors of a military funeral, I would have been deeply offended and would consider resigning my Air Force commission at the insult. Didn't read the article, and am sincerely thinking of severing my ties with this website due to the this publication.

  471. David Heil | April 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  472. Paul Brundige | April 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm |

    I served my beloved country with honor and survived 3 tours in vietnam.I`am not a hero and in fact refused compensation for injuries during combat ,since others were more deserving then me. i love my country even though it is going through many struggles.All veterans deserve recognition when they pass. those who served gave their youth and sprit to preserve that which we take for granted.We should give honor to all vets and respect the sacrifice given to preserve freedom .God bless America

  473. Just because our soldiers and sailors are not in combat does not mean they are not in harms way. My husband was in the submarine services for 20+ years, and they were in incidents many times,which I found out til many years later,by other sources. I am so glad I did not know about them at the time because I am sure I would have tried to talk him out of re-upping each time. I feel he is intitle to the full military honors and to be buried in a National Cemetary, if this his wish.

  474. eddie cuyson | April 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm |

    I am a veteran that recently diagnose with ptsd, and I know for a fact that me and hundred of thousand of honorable veteran will argue that going out with a flag and gun salute is the perfect way of saying goodbye with honors to your family so pl's don't even think about cutting this program because it will take away the honors of those veterans that went before us.Pls don't listen to this individual who don't really know what he is talking about.

  475. I heartily disagree with what this man says, BUT I will defend with my life his right to say it!!!!

    A Proud Vet

  476. I live in a very small town in KS. we have an American Legion Post her were we perform ALL military funeral services to ALL vets. Our funneral home in town as well as the town next to us have requsted for the military to provide services at funerals. And they ( Funneral Homes ) ar told over and over that the nearist military, reserves and or gaurd units do NT have anyone to come out and preform these services. So it is our GREAT HONOR to do ths for the families and or fallen vets. It gave me GREAT PRIDE to be apart of funeral srvices when I was on ative duty. And it still gives me pride t be apart of it today. We do not have the means to provide a 21 gun salute as of yet, but we are working toward it. We have High SChool students that are allowed to get out of school to come play Taps so we don't have to use a recording. This is just a little that the A.L. Post andour local school can do for our fallen vets.

  477. Phil Lockit | April 20, 2013 at 11:34 pm |

    I'm a Vietnam Era Vet. It is so sad that people like your self do not cherish what we stand for. I was 18 and am know will be 64. Itook over 18 years to get a 100% disability rating. Ifeel I still serve my country. Regardsless of age. If you do not like it here, get yourself a ticket to anyware but here.

  478. McClellan is entitled to his opinions albeit slightly tilted. As a disabled veteran, I am hurt that a supposed fellow veteran of the Nam war era doesn't think that all that served, were heroic. As others have said, it takes a certain type of person to join voluntarily during the time of war and for anyone drafted that showd up for duty. McClellan needs to take a close look at what he is going to say before he says it or his foot will never be out of his mouth.

  479. Dennis Piciullo | May 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm |

    I am a vet, All VETS should be treated with honors, no matter what year he or she serves! Smack that reporter upside their head! Disrespect a vet, get your ass kicked!

  480. Did you serve? Did you take an oath to defend this countrym putting your own life on hold for those fellow countryman?! I'd keep my mouth shut if I were you, McClellan. Our military.. ALL of them, regardless of 'laudable' terms deserve a full military honored ceremony and all that goes with it. You disgust me if you call yourself an American.

  481. Probably more than 1/2 the veterans are memorialized and buried by services of the several organizations such as the VFW, Eagles, whom many do not even belong. Some are buried by family and friends, at no cost to anyone except them, because that is the way the veteran often desires.
    Most of them are never buried in a Veterans cemetery, so what is the beef? It is costing the tax payers very little to bury the dead who have so graciously served.
    Furthermore, I think that the ones who have served as police offices and firemen should be treated equal to a military person. Especially if killed or wounded in line of action.
    So, lets let Bill McCliennan bury himself. He probably thinks more of himself than others do.

  482. Sorry to burst your bubble Jack…..NOT everyone in the military are heroes by any means, especially not because he served his Country honorably and with Great Pride… We have devalued the term HERO so badly, where once it stood for something Very Special above and beyond…..not today though, since everyone is seeking glory and recognition at any costs to all others…. I served 22 years with Pride and Honor, and think I am one of many, no….NOT a hero, but one of many…. I also believe if Our government is looking for ways and means to SAVE money and to reduce WASTE….thern look no further than Our Own Congress, and all elected officials expenditures…..including the Office of The President…..which it appears operates with a BLANK CHECK, and no controls for his family's waste in spending….. If after all that is completed, and my Country still needs more savings, then keep the American Flag due at my burial,(I already told my survivors to refuse the Flag) keep the $225.00 earmarked for the grave marker….and send no one to bid me me farewell, for having served my Country…. Until then take not a penny away from any Veterans benefits alive or dead……Take this opportunity to blow TAPS for a dying Country….waiting to be buried……

  483. Or an idiot!

  484. Jack that statement is so true. I was station at Fort McCellen Alabama all the troop that where on this post where exposed to Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) manufactured in Anniston, Alabama, from 1929 to 1971 caused significant environmental contamination. The Anniston population remains one of the most highly exposed in the world. Our own troop where exposed to Toxic Exposure Veterans during the time we where all station there. some of the women I don't know the % can not bare kids we all have some type of problems health wise. Most of us where drafted and all this was unknown to us then. We eat there drank the water ect. So if any of these troops die they will get no honors I think that is bull. If you would like to check this out we have a bill out their called 08 Mar 13 Support HR 411 Fort McClellan Health Registry Act To Help Veterans Petition Please read this and you will find out what I am talking about. Thank you all for reading this.

  485. ROGER THAT!!!!

  486. Life is short, shorter for some than others. He talks about those who gave it all. They did not give their lives, their lives were taken from them as a thief would do in the night.. There for I ask, did they go where they were sent? Did they do what they were told? That is a hell of a lot more than those who did not serve. Someof it is the question of luck, But they all made themselves available for what ever purpose their Country needed them. If this country is so hurting for cash they can not show some respect for those who offered their live for it then it is already to late.

  487. Edward F Barff | April 3, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

    I'm so insulted!! By such a "Low Comment"!! To Give up your Life!! For your Country! Is the Ultimit Sacrifice/and Very Heroic Act!! Shame!! On Anyone,Who would Suggest Such a Thing!!!

  488. Jack, My name is Roger. I served in the US NAVY from 67/71. I could not have said it better myself.

  489. Gary 1969-1970+ | April 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

    I served 3 tours in Vietnam and am proud to be an American I did not die in battle and the scars I bear can not be seen and millions of soldiers bear them. It is the tragedies of war, watching your buddies die before your eyes is something you never get over. I still cry every time I see a military draped casket. Millions of us served and returned and as far as I am concerned have earned the right to be buried with HONORS.

  490. Jeremy Janson | March 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm |

    I suggest you cease attempting to dishonor them. The amount of proof you would have to furnish to strip them of this sacred and beautiful honor is beyond anyones reasonable effort and is simply a waste of your time. I suggest you go with the flow, rather than tempting yourself to do something pitiable and deeply vile.

  491. Glen Zimmerman | March 29, 2013 at 5:45 pm |

    Dont agree with you Captain, but I do however respect your opinion. Thank you sir for your service and thank you for doing so honorably. I think that perhaps the "hero" part is indeed over used in conversations regarding our countrys service members. Should only "heros" get military honors funerals, nope. How many African-Americans served in WWII, were killed, wounded or did heroic deeds that white officers simply ignored due to prejudice? BTW, Im a white guy just so no one thinks Im playing the race card. How many folks have done heroic deeds when no one was watching? Now, do these people NOT deserve military honors funerals? This might be the very last opportunity for thier country to honor them? Why would you take that away from us?

  492. well said

  493. The article says he served in Vietnam, so whether or not he sat behind a desk, he was in a war zone.

  494. Amen, Ronnie. Thank you for your service!

  495. This man is full of crap. The military used drafted soldiers in his war era. We sign up to server and we are put in harms way everyday in the war zones that we severed in. So you need to sit down and shut up. By talking you are showing your IQ.

  496. Amy_Bushatz | March 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm |

    Sorry — I obviously disagree. Demonizing is a really strong word and I don't think I did that at all. I even point out that under my definition he is a hero. I also say I understand how he reached his conclusion.

    By the way the articles (he wrote the original as well as a response) are linked in the body of the post so no googling was really necessary.

  497. Combine army CID and NCIS into DODCIS, and make it a task force of the FBI. Combine each military branch's intel agencies into one, and make it a task force of the CIA. Force retire every single agencies SWAT teams, except for the FBI and Secret service. What does Education, FDA, Agriculture, and HHS need an in-house swat team for? Take each government agency's Inspector General, and each service's IG, and create an independent federal IG that does that job for the whole federal government.
    Do all that, then come back and tell me we can't afford honors for veteran's funerals.

  498. Bob O'Neil | April 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm |

    Darkwing is brilliant!
    Just add clean up the White House and play “Happy Days Are Here Again” at my funeral.
    Bob O’Neil (Nam 66-67)

  499. You should make copies of that article, pass it around to the businesses (i.e., barbershop, flower shop, etc.) and ask them if they would post it in their window. The writer has stated his opinion (as is his protected right), but the rest of our people have a right to an opinion about him. My time in the service gave me an appreciation of my countrymen that, standing alone, was well worth the effort. However, I do want that beautiful flag for my family. Cheers from San Antonio.

  500. haloguy628 | April 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm |

    Unfortunately the type of idiocy contained in this column is the result of 40 years of liberal brainwashing and people being pampered and not knowing what sacrifice and hardship is. We allowed marxists to infiltrate educational institutions and indoctrinate every new generation. we also became soft as a nation. So the result is thinking such as exhibited by this "columnist".

    I am afraid that there is no going back to moral and ethical foundations of society unless some true outside threat materialize or our economic system collapses and brings chaos. Only then the situation will force cognitive approach instead of the emotional knee jerk reactions and touchy feely problem solving that we have today.

  501. MasterSergeant G | April 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm |

    Tex, no need to bash the Pres over authorized outings — every President takes "trips", whether you know about it or not. Stay on point..

  502. How come no one had a problem with presidents before president Obama taking vacations?

  503. Tex, you're a jerk. The columnist was suggesting that we could save money by cutting way back on Military honors at funerals. This is not happening yet, and has nothing to do with The President, or his daughters. I'm just curious, did you have a hard time with Dubya spending so much time on vacation? I'm retired from the Navy after 20 years of service. I feel I did my duty. I don't personally feel I'm a hero. If my daughter wants a military presence at my funeral, I won't complain, since it won't concern me at all.

  504. Agreed. Weather a service man goes directly into harms way or not, he's just as available to do so, as the next guy. At the drop of a hat, he can be ordered anywhere, at any time, to go put his life into hock. A military funeral seems little enough to give a guy.

  505. T. Lodge Sims | April 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm |

    Hi hero!
    Thank you for your service. I think what you did was heroic; however, you seem some what confused about several aspects of military service in a combat zone. It would be nice know the unit you were assigned to. There had to be support personnel that took care of our aircraft that are deserving; were they not in a combat zone. If so, you are belittling them and saying to them " you are not deserving of anything ".
    I am a Marine Mustang. I served in combat in two wars, Korea and Vietnam. I was never wounded but was otherwise badly injured . I was a Gunnery Sergeant in Korea and a Major in Vietnam . Because of that injury, I have undergone thirteen major back and leg surgeries I am totally disabled. You are telling me that I do not rate a military funeral and that you do. Come on, I would like to meet you in person and discuss our feelings. Please don't belittle the rest of us that have served honorably.

  506. Than you Major! you are right on.

  507. Kat FYI for the next austerity measure to hit this year:

    As of October 1, 2013, TRICARE Prime (military health insurance for active duty and retired military) will no longer be available to beneficiaries living in certain areas. Prime Service Areas (PSAs) are geographic areas where TRICARE Prime is offered. PSAs were created to ensure medical readiness of the active duty force by augmenting the capability and capacity of military hospitals and clinics. The affected PSAs are not close to existing military hospitals or clinics and have never augmented care around military hospitals or clinics or 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) locations (40 mile radius).
    The Department of Defense (DoD) has planned to make PSA reductions since 2007, when proposals were requested for the next generation of TRICARE contracts (known as T-3). Bidders for the three U.S. regional contracts were only required to establish PSAs around military hospitals or clinics and in areas that lost military hospitals or clinics due to 2005 BRAC decisions.
    Members will be disenrolled from TRICARE Prime on September 30, 2013. Members will remain enrolled until September 30, 2013 as long as member's enrollment fees are paid, Member does not disenroll early or otherwise lose eligibility.
    Once disenrolled from TRICARE Prime, members will begin to use TRICARE Standard and Extra (require higher co-pay & cost share), or can enroll in the US Family Health Plan if it's offered where you live. In some cases, members may be able to re-enroll in TRICARE Prime by waiving their drive-time standards. By waiving their drive-time standards, members will have to drive long distances (40-100 miles) for primary and specialty care so members should carefully consider this option.
    Note: This is also true for others who are covered like retired service members (i.e. former spouses, surviving spouses of deceased active duty service members after three years, Medal of Honor recipients, etc.). Source: Tricare website

Comments are closed.