2 Wisconsin soldiers tied to coffin photo out of jobs

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Two Wisconsin National Guard members have lost their jobs after a photo of the soldiers smiling near an empty, flag-draped coffin popped up on social media, sparking national outrage and prompting a military investigation.

The photo, which was posted on the photo-sharing website Instagram back in February, featured 14 National Guard members posing for pictures as they trained for funeral honors duty in Arkansas. The caption of the photo read: “We put the FUN in funeral — your fearless honor guard from various states.”

One of those honor guard members was Spc. Terry Harrison. She posted the photo and was suspended by the Wisconsin National Guard in February. She was also criticized for posting a selfie, complaining about the cold weather in Wisconsin and an upcoming outdoor funeral.

Sgt. Luis Jimenez, who didn't appear in the photo, was also criticized because of the comments he posted defending it.

“She isn’t disrespecting anyone,” Jimenez wrote of Harrison, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. “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.”

Funeral honor units attend memorial services for veterans, march with the casket and present the flag to family members.

Last week, Wisconsin National Guard Maj. Paul Rickert told the Army Times that Harrison and Jimenez were dropped from the funeral honor unit and no longer have full-time jobs with the state guard, however they are still guard members who drill on the weekends, Rickert said.

Rickert would not provide details on any further disciplinary actions, according to reports.

The head of the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., ordered an investigation into the photo when it first surfaced. He called it a "disgraceful incident" and "in very poor taste." Other military officials have said it has tarnished the guard's image, Army Times reports.

Next Up

ambulance

2 killed in head-on crash involving car, dump truck

The crash happened just before 2 p.m. Friday, according to the State Patrol.

coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, October 31

Minnesota has surpassed 3,000 new cases on consecutive days.

high school football

Minnesota Football Showcase postponed due to COVID-19

The MFCA All-Star Game will be played in June 2021.

Screen Shot 2020-10-31 at 7.26.05 AM

Here's what President Trump said on his visit to Minnesota

The president targeted Gov. Tim Walz and Keith Ellison at his Minnesota rally.

Screen Shot 2020-10-30 at 6.09.58 PM

Here's what Joe Biden said in Minnesota Friday

Presenting himself as the candidate for a united country, he pledged improvements on affordable healthcare, pandemic relief

Mohamed Ibrahim

Missed PAT seals Gophers' fate against Maryland

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a school record with four touchdowns, but the Gophers lost in overtime.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

Related