Defying Pentagon Ban, La. Guard Unit Allows Footage of Returning Coffins

By: E&P Staff The Pentagon ban on newspaper and TV images of coffins returning from Iraq suffered an unexpected jolt in Louisiana yesterday.

A Louisiana National Guard unit defied a Pentagon request to prevent television news crews from filming six flag-draped soldiers' coffins arriving in the state following the men's deaths in Iraq last week, according to a report by CBS News.

The Louisiana National Guard allowed a CBS crew to film the arrival of six soldiers' coffins at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, La., near New Orleans. Lt. Col. Pete Schneider, a spokesman for the Louisiana National Guard, told CBS: "What we thought was, we're going to do what the family asked us to do."

Footage broadcast by CBS showed an honor guard carrying the soldiers' flag-draped coffins out of an aircraft to six waiting hearses, watched by grieving families. The six guardsmen died last Thursday after their armored vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Baghdad.


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