Pictures posted by Funeral Honor Guard member spark outrage
It's supposed to be a Wisconsin National Guard tradition, but what was caught on camera is now causing an internet firestorm and has led to a military investigation.
The Wisconsin National Guard has been part of Wisconsin's Funeral Honor Guard for decades, but two pictures posted to social media by a Milwaukee member of the honor guard are sparking outrage.
WISN 12 News isn't identifying the soldier in the pictures because she said she's been receiving death threats after they went viral.
The Wisconsin National Guard confirmed to WISN 12 News it is launching an investigation into her social media account.
The first photo under scrutiny shows her with a folded flag in the background with the caption, "It's so damn cold out. Why have a funeral outside? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."
The second is from her recent graduation of training for honors at funerals.
WISN 12 News has learned the casket shown in the photo was empty, but some online are upset at the caption at the bottom saying, "We put the 'fun' in funeral."
A spokesman for the Wisconsin National Guard confirmed for WISN 12 News that the woman is a member in Milwaukee.
WISN 12 News reporter Christina Palladino reached the specialist by phone Monday evening. She told Palladino she was contacted by the National Guard Monday, but she would not comment any further on the photo controversy.
The guard released a statement to WISN 12 News saying in part, "The Wisconsin National Guard takes our responsibilities for our fallen soldiers and veterans very seriously. We expect all soldiers who carry out this detail to handle it with professionalism and honor."