Just a few weeks back, Darrell Stafford, the internment foreman at Arlington National Cemetery, told CNN:
“Everybody’s a VIP who enters Arlington National Cemetery, whether it’s a private or a general,” he said. “We look at them the same. Someone’s loved one has passed on, and we should do our best to make their departure or the last moments with their loved one the best we can give them.”
Except, that’s not true. Salon.com reveals that despite the Army’s official policy of treating all soldiers the same at Arlington, a system has been in place for years to flaunt those sacred rules. From Salon:
Since 1962, service members are supposed to be buried in the next available grave, regardless of their post in life. “The next available grave … is assigned for the interment or inurnment,” according to cemetery rules. “Assignment of graves … are without regard to military rank, race, color, creed, or gender of the qualifying service member.” Despite those rules, the practice of quietly reserving sweet spots for VIPs has been going on for years, if not decades, Army officials now say.