2 WI Guard Members Suspended From Funeral Detail Over Instagram Pics

By: Matthew Stucker and Dana Ford
By: Matthew Stucker and Dana Ford

(CNN) -- In one image, soldiers -- including one from the Wisconsin Army National Guard -- pose around a flag-draped casket.

The caption reads: "We put the FUN in funeral -- your fearless honor guard from various states."

In another, a soldier poses alone in a car.

That caption reads: "It's so damn cold out ... WHY have a funeral outside!? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."

Both photographs sparked outrage after they were posted on an Instagram account belonging to Spc. Terry Harrison -- a member of the 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment based in Madison, Wisconsin.

She has been suspended indefinitely from the funeral honors detail, pending an investigation.

Harrison remains working full time, performing other duties, said Maj. Paul Rickert, spokesman for the Wisconsin National Guard.

On Wednesday, a second Wisconsin National Guard member was also suspended with pay from the funeral honor team, Rickert said.

During the suspension, Sgt. Luis Jimenez has been assigned to other duties pending the outcome of the investigation, Rickert said.

"He had made comments on social media supporting Spc. Terry Harrison. He's not featured in any of the photos," Rickert said.

Jimenez couldn't be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

"A military funeral is the final show of respect for our veterans and their families, and we take that solemn duty very seriously," Rickert said.

"The very name 'military funeral honors' underscores the importance we ascribe -- both as the military and society at large -- to such solemn occasions. These photos and comments do not appear to align with those values."

Harrison is the only member of the Wisconsin National Guard in the photos, the spokesman added.

The other people are members of other military units, but Rickert didn't know to which branches or units they might belong. As a result, he didn't know whether there were other investigations involving those members.

"We expect all of our Soldiers and Airmen to live by a core set of values, in word and deed," said Maj. Gen. Donald P. Dunbar, Wisconsin's adjutant general. "I was appalled by the offensive photos and comments that appeared on this Soldier's social media site regarding her duties as a funeral honor guard member."

Posted by: Nick Viviani


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