"Fun" military funeral picture sparking outrage

Liz Kotalik

"Fun" military funeral picture sparking outrage

CREATED Feb. 19, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9- The Associated Press has confirmed with a National Guard Spokesman that another soldier has been suspended for defending a controversial picture that has the whole country talking.

Spc. Terry Harrison with the Wisconsin National Guard posted this picture of her and her fellow soldiers posing with an empty casket on her Instagram account (picture taken from NPR):


The caption under the picture said, "We put the FUN in funeral."
The picture was taken at a training exercise.
Now, Sgt. Luis Jimenez was suspended because of comments he posted on social media defending the photo, spokesman Maj. Paul Rickert said.
"He has been suspended from his duties as a funeral honors team member until the investigation is complete," Rickert said.
Jimenez' comments have since been taken down, but in a screen shot confirmed by Rickert he defended the woman who originally posted the photo.
"She isn't disrespecting anyone," Jimenez wrote of Spc. Terry Harrison. "... It's actually a selfless commitment she has made. These practice sessions are very long. It's good to let loose a little. When your job constantly asked you to be serious. And no there's no one in the casket."
Jimenez was Harrison's task leader, or supervisor, in the Madison, Wis.-based 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment. 
She also posted another picture of a "selfie" in her car with the caption, "It's so damn cold out….WHY have a funeral outside !? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."
The pictures went viral. 
As you can imagine, the Guard's Facebook page has been inundated with angry comments, calling the pictures disrespectful.
But another veteran told the local Fox affiliate, "If they had a chance to have a lighthearted moment, I have no problem with it. Because when you watch these veterans here who are going to play the bugle and pull the flag, they're 110% serious."
Spc. Harrison has deleted her social media accounts, and the National Guard has indefinitely suspended her.
CLICK HERE to see the Wisconsin National Guard's statement. 
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