‘Very disrespectful’: Funeral home blasted for how they displayed vet’s dead body

The photo of a Vietnam War veteran‘s body on display by a Georgia funeral home minus a coffin has set social media ablaze with criticism.

A dispute over costs and life insurance payments led Catoosa County’s Heritage Funeral Home to display the body of George Taylor, who died at age 71, in uniform while simply lying on a gurney with a U.S. flag draped over his body.

Clip via WTVC-TV

That was the way Taylor’s body had been placed for public visitation Thursday. By Friday, the dispute was resolved and Tayler was buried — in a coffin. But not before Heritage was the recipient of some unwanted publicity.

The life insurance company indicated that it couldn’t cut the check until it had received a copy of Taylor’s death certificate, and the funeral home wouldn’t place the body in a casket until it had been paid, according to local ABC affiliate WTVC News Channel 9.

“At first we were okay with it but like I told the guy, I said this was very disrespectful to my dad,” Taylor’s son James told News Channel 9.

“They came to me and told me that unless the $9,000 dollars were paid, they couldn’t put him into the ground at the military thing, he would have to sit in the freezer until we paid it or the insurance come through,” he added.

Ella Moss, who is described as a family member, posted a photo of the manner in which Taylor’s body was displayed to her Facebook page Thursday, along with a description of the dispute.

Moss’s post understandably went viral and spurred outrage at the funeral home and was shared thousands of times.

She later posted this remembrance of her family member:

Tribute to George Taylor / Source: Facebook

Officials at the funeral home apparently saw nothing wrong with the way they handled the dispute.

“We were trying to honor the request and let them have some closure by viewing their loved one,” Heritage’s David Cummings told WTVC.

Cummings added that despite the negative publicity, his company’s emphasis is on community service.

“We serve this community. We love the community. we serve this community in everything we do,” said Cummings.

The station’s Alyssa Spirato posted another photo depicting how Taylor’s family would prefer him to be remembered — as a hero on the service of our country fighting a foreign war.

Chattanooga National Cemetery director Charles Arnold said he reached out to Heritage after an employee, also a veteran, expressed concern after viewing the Facebook post. He was told Taylor would be placed in a proper casket for the burial.

“We wanted to make sure that this burial would meet our standards as we would do with every veteran,” said Arnold.

Locals also expressed concern — and patriotism.

Tiffany Lambert, the woman in the photo, told the station that it was something she was compelled to do.

“I had to,” she said. “Someone has to show this man the respect he deserves I only played the song as they loaded this American Soldier up – Thank you sir for your service and God Bless The USA!”

Wake up right! Receive our free morning news blast  HERE

Related Posts