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The Dover Air Force Base mortuary for years disposed of portions of troopsâ€™ remains by cremating them and dumping the ashes in a Virginia landfill, a practice that officials have since abandoned in favor of burial at sea.
The Dover mortuary, the main point of entry for Americaâ€™s war dead and the target of federal investigations for alleged mishandling of remains, engaged in the practice from 2003 to 2008, according to Air Force officials. The manner of disposal was not disclosed to relatives of fallen service members.
Air Force officials acknowledged the practice Wednesday in response to inquiries from The Washington Post. They said the procedure was limited to fragments or portions of body parts that were unable to be identified at first or were later recovered from the battlefield, and which family members had said could be disposed of by the military....