On Patrol

Until every one comes home | The Magazine of the USO

A civilian supervisor at Dover Air Force Base’s mortuary has left his post after months of investigations into the disposal of unidentified remains.

Officials told The Washington Post that Quinton Keel resigned earlier this week. Keel has been accused of lying to investigators, mutilating a corpse and retaliating against whistleblowers, according to the Post.

He was one of three supervisors at Dover whom the Air Force in November accused of “gross mismanagement” at the military’s primary mortuary for handling America’s war dead. An 18-month investigation, spurred by whistleblowers who worked for Keel, documented instances of missing body parts and the sloppy handling of human remains, among other problems.

In other news around the military:

Showing Our Gratitude

March 2, 2012, 10:18AM |

President Barack Obama shakes hands with a Marine on February 29, 2012, during "A Nation's Gratitude Dinner," an event he and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted to honor Iraq War veterans at the White House in Washington, D.C. DOD photo by Marine Corps Sergeant Mark FaylogaPresident Barack Obama shakes hands with a Marine on February 29, 2012, during "A Nation's Gratitude Dinner," an event he and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted to honor Iraq War veterans at the White House in Washington, D.C. DOD photo by Marine Corps Sergeant Mark Fayloga

All Dressed Up

March 1, 2012, 9:47AM |

Marine Corps Corporal Steven Schulz, an Iraq War veteran who relies on Sonny, his seeing-eye dog, talks with friends February 29, 2012, at a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Virginia. Schulz, who did two tours in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, lost an eye while serving in Iraq. About 80 Iraw War veterans attended the reception before heading to the White House to attend a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama in their honor. DOD photo by Linda HosekMarine Corps Corporal Steven Schulz, an Iraq War veteran who relies on Sonny, his seeing-eye dog, talks with friends February 29, 2012, at a reception to honor Iraq War veterans in Crystal City, Virginia. Schulz, who did two tours in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, lost an eye while serving in Iraq. About 80 Iraw War veterans attended the reception before heading to the White House to attend a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama in their honor. DOD photo by Linda Hosek

It’s a busy day in the military world, with news items that are great, disturbing, and downright odd.

  • It used to take years of surveillance to catch an al Qaeda leader, so word that Egypt thinks it arrested a high-ranking terrorist at the arrivals gate of Cairo’s airport on Wednesday raised several eyebrows. Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi was detained after flying from Pakistan via Dubai. However, two U.S. officials told ABC News that the arrest is likely a case of mistaken identity.
  • And finally, Tiger Woods’s former golf coach Hank Haney says in his upcoming book that Woods considered quitting the links in his prime to attempt to become a Navy SEAL.

Outreach

February 29, 2012, 9:11AM |

Navy Petty Officers Third Class Victoria Moore, left, and Ia Vang hold hands with Thai children February 23, 2012, while participating in a community service project in Thailand as part of the 2012 Cobra Gold exercise. Navy photo by Seaman Raul Moreno, Jr.Navy Petty Officers Third Class Victoria Moore, left, and Ia Vang hold hands with Thai children February 23, 2012, while participating in a community service project in Thailand as part of the 2012 Cobra Gold exercise. Navy photo by Seaman Raul Moreno, Jr.

If only every selfless deed could be rewarded like this.

Marine Corporal Alexander Degenhardt was killing time with a buddy on the Las Vegas strip two weekends ago, waiting for their flight back to Washington after training at Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base. He put a $100 bill in a penny slot machine at the Bellagio and started pressing buttons. A few moments later, he had won $2.88 million.

“It’s something you always want to happen, but when it does happen you don’t believe it,” Degenhardt told the Las Vegas Sun.

But as great a moment as this was, there’s a twist that makes it better. Degenhardt had been accepted to be a bone marrow donor for an anonymous patient just days before hitting the progressive slot jackpot, which had been building for six months on slot machines across five states.

“I look at this as kind of good karma for that,” he told the newspaper.

Read more in Marine credits karma for hitting $2.9 million jackpot at Bellagio.

In other news around the military:

Bright Lights

February 28, 2012, 8:42AM |

Navy Petty Officer Second Class Jason Querido directs aircraft onto the waist catapults to prepare for launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson under way in the Arabian Gulf on February 22, 2012. Navy photo by Petty Officer Second Class James R. EvansNavy Petty Officer Second Class Jason Querido directs aircraft onto the waist catapults to prepare for launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson under way in the Arabian Gulf on February 22, 2012. Navy photo by Petty Officer Second Class James R. Evans

“Act of Valor” Storms Box Office

February 27, 2012, 9:24AM |

While the Oscars mostly honored subdued films on Sunday night, the action-driven “Act of Valor” cruised to box office victory over the weekend, grossing $24.7 million.

The film, which features active duty Navy SEALs, has received high praise for its warfare sequences, even though several reviewers panned its acting. (In a tongue-in-cheek move, the New York Observer pulled excerpts from movie reviewers who may not have caught the several stories in the last few weeks about how the film was derived from a Pentagon effort to boost recruiting).

In other news around the military:

Sending Signals

February 27, 2012, 8:25AM |

A Marine provides security as yellow smoke is used to signal to supporting forces during a combined arms live-fire exercise during Cobra Gold 2012 in Muang Kom, Thailand, on February 15, 2012. Cobra Gold is a regularly scheduled joint exercise. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Matheus J. HernandezA Marine provides security as yellow smoke is used to signal to supporting forces during a combined arms live-fire exercise during Cobra Gold 2012 in Muang Kom, Thailand, on February 15, 2012. Cobra Gold is a regularly scheduled joint exercise. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Matheus J. Hernandez