Petition Tag - funerals

1. Cut down on repetitive funeral plan advertisments

Basically I know i am not the only person who is tired of these repetitive funeral plan advertisements from all the different companies drilling the thought of death into our daily lives.

It is not just flooded on the tv its also flooding the radio too. I am over it.

They need to cut them down dramatically. Yes we are all going to die one day but we don't need the thought of it on our minds constantly which is what these ads do. Make people scared and depressed !

2. Make it illegal in PA to protest funerals

We have all heard of the Westboro Baptist Church sometime or another. They picket at soldiers funerals,little children's funerals and anyone they think is a "act of God" or a punishment for sins PA or the US has caused.

I want to make sure that they can not legally petition in PA ever again! This is not a fair to the families in mourning, or respectful to the dead. It is a form of harassment and it needs to end.

3. Free Funerals for Soldiers

I feel our soldiers who risk their lives everyday when in war should be entilted to a free funeral, if they are willing to fight for our country, our government should be willing to pay for it.

4. Change Arlington Cemetery Burial Honors (Enlisted vs. Officer)

Arlington National Cemetery Burial Honors (Enlisted vs. Officer)

The difference between a Full and Standard Honor Funeral is dramatic, however, unless you have worked at Arlington, you would never know the difference. In fact, the only way an Enlisted Service Member can receive a Full Honor Funeral is to be a Medal of Honor Recipient, which are usually awarded well after burial, meaning a Enlisted Medal of Honor Recipient wouldn’t receive Full Honors at time of burial.

Basically, a Full Honors at Arlington consists of a Horse Drawn Caisson transfer from Chapel to gravesite, 8 pallbearers, Army Band, 1-2 escort marching Platoons, Cannon Salutes for General Officers, “Cap Rider-less Horse(0-6 and above), firing party, bugler and a Chaplin. A Standard Honors Funeral consists of a hearse transfer, 6 pallbearers, firing party, bugler, and a Chaplin. Another misconception is that E-9’s receive Full Honors as stated in Army Regulation 600-25, however, they don’t, in addition to the Standard Honors rendered above, they get the Caisson, 1 escort marching platoon, and a drummer, which contradicts what Army Regulation 600-25 states they will receive the band.

I might add, the above Special Officer Honors rendered at Arlington, are not offered at any other National Cemetery in the United States. I feel Arlington Honors should mirror the rest of the National Cemeteries.

For the last year, I have addressed this with the President, multiple Congressman and Senators, multiple Veteran Organizations of which I am a member of, and Army Offices in Washington D.C., but have received little to no response back. The ANC Superintendent sent me a response stating that he agreed with my position, however, he believed changes would be difficult to implement. I have talked to numerous Senior Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers as well who support this and are addressing this in their own direction.

The bottom line is this, a 2nd Lieutenant can die in a car accident 2 days after graduating Officer Candidate School and get a Full Honor Funeral, while a Master Sergeant in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corp, or Navy with 22 years of Service can die in Combat in Afghanistan or Iraq, receive a Silver Star for Valor, and receive a Standard Honor Funeral. This is flat out disgraceful. In a place our Nation considers to be the most hallowed ground in America, a place that demands our respect, I think this issue deserves to be looked at. Honors rendered should be equal, based off actions, not just rank. A panel should decide official criteria for Honors rendered based off individual careers, and circumstances of death, not just by rank. I think the Funerals should be like the Tomb Stones in Arlington, all the same. At a minimum, all Active Duty Soldiers’ killed in Combat should receive a Full Honor Funeral.

Official criteria needs to be re-looked at is the bottom line, this disgraceful discrepancy has been passed over as “customs and courtesies” too long.

Anyone wishing to assist my efforts please sign this petition which I will be submitting to applicable parties in Washington D.C., so please forward this to all Veterans you know asap. The only way this will be changed is through legislation, so please contact your Representatives'.

SFC Robert Allen Durbin
Taji, Iraq

5. Increase distance requirements for protests at Funerals and Gay Gatherings

A group of people based in Topeka, Kansas have held protests at fallen soldiers funerals, gay gatherings, and anything else they can protest.