Investigation Widens in Soldiers' Photo Mocking Funerals

Casket Photo Controversy

Feb. 19, 201401:03

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Fourteen Army National Guard members are being investigated for taking part in a photo that appears to mock funerals for fallen soldiers — a “totally unacceptable” display, Pentagon officials told NBC News.

That’s in addition to a female soldier who officials said Tuesday they were suspending for allegedly posting the photo, which shows 14 guard members gathered around an empty, flag-draped casket, mugging for the camera with the caption, “We put the FUN in funeral.”

The photo was taken at a National Guard Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark., and includes guard members from a number of separate states.

“These are essentially kids blowing off a little steam, but given the serious and solemn nature of their mission, (funeral duty), their actions are inappropriate and totally unacceptable,” a U.S. defense official told NBC News.

A photo posted to an Instagram account of a member of the Wisconsin National Guard shows guardsmen around an empty flag-draped coffin.Instagram via AP

Aside from the casket photo, a second “selfie” snap shows the suspended female soldier, Spc. Terry Harrison, in a car on her way to a military funeral in Wisconsin with a caption complaining about the cold weather. Harrison is a member of the Madison, Wis.-based 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation.

“It so damn cold out. Why have a funeral outside? Somebody’s getting a jacked up flag,” the photo's caption read.

Casket Photo Controversy

Feb. 19, 201401:03

Pentagon officials say she’s been indefinitely suspended from funeral duty pending an investigation. Guard officials say the specialist has received death threats as a result of the posted photos.