Father of Fallen Soldier Reacts to Controversial Photo - WBAY

Father of Fallen Soldier Reacts to Controversial Photo

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Ken Jerabek knows the pain of losing a son or daughter to war. That's why a photo posted on social media that resulting in the suspension of a Wisconsin Funeral Honor Guard member is important to him.


One photo posted on the guard member's social media account shows a group surrounding an empty casket during training graduation with the caption, "We put the 'fun' in funeral."

"It is the most heart-wrenching moment in a family's life to say their goodbyes to a service member who's been killed in combat and for these individuals to put on that display is unacceptable," Jerabek said.  "It's hard to even imagine military personnel doing something like that."

Ten years ago this spring, Jerabek's son Ryan was killed in Iraq and his funeral included full Marine Corps honors.

"And it was done very ceremonial and very symbolic and they know the seriousness of losing a member and it's quite obvious this group has never been in combat because they would not behave in the manner that they are behaving," he said.

Since his son's death, Jerabek has served as a silent honor guard at 164 military funerals around the state.  He says he's never witnessed anything but respect and honor from military personnel paying tribute to fallen comrades.

"I'm shocked, I'm absolutely shocked, from all the military services that I've done and see the type of military protocol that has been done, and to see something like this, it's absolutely unacceptable," he said. "People are outraged and military justice will be swift."
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