Photos of funeral honor guard spark anger, investigation

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Update: Spc. Terry Harrison, a member of the 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment based in Madison, Wisconsin, has been suspended indefinitely from the funeral honors detail, pending an investigation.

Milwaukee, Wi. – Two photos of funeral honor guard members have sparked outrage and an investigation by the Wisconsin National Guard.

One shows a group of soldiers grinning and striking comic poses beside a casket draped in the American flag. The accompanying caption said, “WE put the FUN in funeral your fearless honor guard from various states.” according to the Army Times.

The other image is a selfie of a woman who appears to be in an honor guard with a caption that reads: “It’s so damn cold out…WHY have a funeral outside! Somebody’s getting a jacked up flag…”

The pictures are believed to have come from a woman who is a member of the Wisconsin National Guard, who is now receiving death threats, according to WISN.

The Wisconsin National Guard has launched an investigation.

The woman's Instagram account has been deleted.

The woman’s Instagram account has been deleted.

The Wisconsin National Guard’s Maj. Paul Rickert confirmed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that at least one of the soldiers posing by the casket is a member of the Wisconsin Guard.

“We take the responsibility given to members with respect to fallen soldiers very seriously and expect all soldiers assigned to (the unit) to perform their duties with honor and respect,” Rickert told the newspaper.

Read more at the Army Times and WISN.


  • Carolyn

    Are you serious? This is so disgraceful and so disrespectful! From an active duty military widow…I really hope they check into this picture and deal with each person in this picture accordingly!

    • Shelia Sinquefield

      This was an extremely inappropriate and indefensible thing to do and all involved need remedial training, preferably involving their toothbrush and the latrines. That said the military is notorious for using dark/black humor for dealing with the insanity they are faced with on a daily basis. How do you save your sanity when you are burying people that have absolutely no reason to be dead, except lying thieving politicians.

  • Brittany

    My husband was a Marine that was killed active duty as a widow I find these actions beyond rude. These men and woman in this picture in my opinion are a disgrace to the American Flag and all that it stands for. And of all people the Funeral Honor Guard doing this? Have you not seen first hand a young mother holding her infant son as she is given a folded flag that draped her husbands coffin? I was that woman along with many other widow friends of mine. I know that feeling and I have the utmost respect for the flag and for all that protect it. But for these men and woman I would love to have 5 minutes with them all. A brother in arms would NEVER do this.

  • Kia

    This is disrespect at its highest!There is nothing FUN Or FUNNY about the funerals or these guards behavior.Can anyone say a few months in the brig right before dishonorable discharge,because that is how they are behaving DISHONORABLE!!!!!!!!

  • Alice

    As a veteran, mother of a veteran, aunt of an active duty Marine and sister of a deceased veteran I find this abhorrent. I can’t agree more with Kia’s comment that these people deserve a dishonarable discharge!!!

  • Sergeant S.

    The flag draped coffin is empty. These brave men and women were taking a break from training to do a job I myself could never do. I would love to do honor guard, but I would not be able to maintain my composure at funerals. No doubt about it, I would cry every time. 11 years and counting on active duty and my heart can hardly bear to hear Taps, ready-fire repeated 3 times, or the sight of the US flag being presented to a loved one. I applaud these soldiers ability to separate themselves from the tragedy and pain of their honor guard duties and smile every once in a while.

    • carolyn

      I disagree Sgt s. Smiles are one thing…but cutting up and
      Posing in front of a flag draped casket..empty or disrespectful.
      Would you think it was acceptable if you had seen this right after
      You were just handed a folded flag from your child’s or spouses casket?
      That was not the time and social media was def. NOT the place!!!

    • Lance

      As a member of the Honor Guard I understand having a little fun while training. We have to keep it light and upbeat. However, when I see this picture I am angry. These soldiers should know better than to parade around and ever publicly show that we take these duties on with anything less that professional conduct. Also, to post online that someone will get a jacked up flag due to the cold is just plain stupid. If these individuals cannot find the common sense to operate in the face of the public out of combat, I would not wish to be the one having his back covered in combat by them. Their NCO’s failed them. This should roll uphill.

    • Mike Thiebaud

      There is no way you served your country or maybe you ride a desk. Because if you are or have ever been in the military this would sicken you. Try reading my post!!!!

  • Marco

    This is so disgraceful and so disrespectful. those that are posing, send them straight to COURT MARTIAL-DONT PASS GO. GET THE #ELL OUT!
    There NCO must be a real joke. Where is the honor here? I dont care if the casket is empty. Then again It might have been one of my fellow brother or sister’s in the coffin. Either way NO EXCUSE. COURT MARTIAL, COURT MARTIAL. YEA I’M PISSED, SO DEAL WITH IT AND SOME DO THE RIGHT THING AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM WITH THIS UNIT ASAP.

  • Mike Thiebaud

    As a United States Marine Disabled Vet I am just in awe of how these people (soldiers) have no Honor, Courage or Commitment. I have buried to many of my fallen brothers, and this picture makes me sick. If I were there CO I would have just given them all orders to Iraq for 14 months and hope they all come back in a box!!!

    • Carolyn

      Mike, Thank you for your service! Unfortunately, in this day and age, they would probably never have to be deployed! (It would look too much like a punishment!!!) These so called HONOR guards should have to serve in areas like Wounded Warriors, VA Hospitals, TAPs and SNowball Express, so they can see first hand what brave, honor and compassion really is! My husband was active duty AF and we buried him Nov 18, 2012. Their actions sicken me, and my husband as an officer would be outraged by their behavior! Semper Fi!

      • Mike Thiebaud

        Thank you Carolyn, you said it best “Semper Fidelis” Always Faithful !!!! May your husband rest in peace!

  • Johnnie

    Being a Veteran myself I find this very disrespectful not only to the flag that represents the country that they serve but also the uniform that they are wearing and yes they should be punished. I served on the American Legion honor guard that would often stand in when military honor guards were not available and we were taught how important it is not to do anything to disrespect the American Flag

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