Did you know this, because I didn’t. If a soldier — who served their country with honor — is “convicted of capital crimes and sentenced to death or life imprisonment without parole from being interred at military cemeteries” (Read CNN article here). after being discharged, they cannot be buried in the national cemeteries.

I don’t really think that’s fair, do you?

Being buried in a national cemetery is a honor because you served your country, not for anything you did prior to serving your country or after. Apparently, the original bill was signed into law by President Clinton in 1997. However; due to the loophole that stated sentenced to death or life imprisonment without parole, Russell Wayne Wagner’s remains were allowed to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

He was convicted of murdering two elderly people whether he was appealing this, I don’t know. He would’ve been eligible for parole in 2017, but he died in prison of a heroin overdose. Back in January, President Bush removed the loophole that allowed Wagner to be buried in Arlington. Now, the law reads any capital crime. On Friday, President Bush signed the “veterans’ health care and benefits bill” and attached to that bill was the order to remove Wagner’s remains from Arlington. (I should note that Wagner did appeal his conviction — Read that story here.)

Why?

Did the man serve his country well? Yes, he did. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1969 after serving in Vietnam.

Did he have troubles after Vietnam? Yeah, apparently, he did.

Should we make his family remove his cremated remains because of those problems? No, we shouldn’t.

I feel sorry for Vernon G. Davis (the son of the couple Wagner murdered). I can’t imagine what kind of Hell he must be going through. But, I feel sorry for Wagner as well. A lot of Vietnam Vets fell through the cracks and ended up on the wrong side of the law. It doesn’t negate the good they did while in the military.

But, I guess in today’s world, it does and that’s a shame.

God Bless

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