Members of Air Force Squadron Pose With Military Casket

Transfer case meant for fallen servicemembers

Thursday, Dec 15, 2011  |  Updated 11:28 AM EDT
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Air Force Squadron Poses With Casket

Getty Images

Getty Images/ Joe Raedle

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Air Force commanders are investigating a photo of airmen - posing around an open casket with another airman inside - pretending to be dead.

In the image, 15 airmen from 345th Training Squadron, currently serving in Fort Lee, Virginia are gathered around a transfer case used to transport service members' remains.  Another airmen lays inside the casket, with eyes closed and head cocked to one side. Scrawled across the bottom of the image are the words: "Da Dumpt, Da Dumpt...Sucks 2 Be U!"  You can view the image here.

The picture, taken August 23, came to light when a service member emailed a copy to the Air Force Times. When Air Force officials were questioned, an investigation was launched.

From the Air Force Times:

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley expressed regret Tuesday night that the photo might cause more turmoil for families of fallen troops.

“We take this matter seriously. [Air Education and Training Command] has initiated a commander directed investigation,” Donley said in a statement to Air Force Times. “Such behavior is not consistent with our core values, and it is not representative of the Airmen I know. It saddens me that this may cause additional grief to the families of our fallen warriors.”

Several military commanders, military wives and widows say they are extremely offended by the photo.

Air Force commanders are looking into whether the image is a violation of any military rules, or just in poor taste.

The 345th Training Squadron is based in Texas.

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