The Body Baggers of Iraq by Chris Hedges


This article may contain language depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be read by a mature audience.

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
March 21, 2011

Bodies returning to Dover Air Force Base's Cha...

Bodies returning to Dover Air Force Base’s Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jess Goodell enlisted in the Marines immediately after she graduated from high school in 2001. She volunteered three years later to serve in the Marine Corps’ first officially declared Mortuary Affairs unit, at Camp Al Taqaddum in Iraq. Her job, for eight months, was to collect and catalog the bodies and personal effects of dead Marines. She put the remains of young Marines in body bags and placed the bags in metal boxes. Before being shipped to Dover Air Force Base, the boxes were stored, often for days, in a refrigerated unit known as a “reefer”. The work she did was called “processing.”

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