Two months after the military loosened its ban on the media at Dover Air Force Base, the Associated Press reports that 14 of 19 families have agreed to let journalists cover the arrivals of their slain loved ones’ caskets at the base. Despite the claims of government officials through two decades under the old policy, it seems many military families are content to share the somber ceremonies with the public.
David Pautsch, whose son Jason was one of five soldiers killed in an explosion April 10 in Iraq, agreed to media coverage of the return of his son’s remains, and volunteered after to speak with reporters. That’s protocol under the new policy, the AP says: Journalists can only attend the ceremonies with a family’s approval, and they can’t do interviews unless the family makes the offer. Military officials won’t bring it up.
Pautsch, who told the AP he thought the old policy was meant "to protect the government’s butt" and not just shield families from media intrusion, said, "We shouldn’t be afraid of letting people express their opinions."