My friend and I then drove to Ramstein Air Base, 15 minutes north of Landstuhl. After going through security, we went upstairs and saw several cargo planes and a commercially leased jetliner on the tarmac. As we were trying to determine which planes were C-5s and which were C-141s, a retired veteran approached us and said, under his breath, that there had been several casualties brought in that day. He complained that the caskets hadn’t even been met by an Honor Guard but rather, were unceremoniously stacked on pallets and left on the tarmac to be redirected elsewhere. Just then, the man’s MAC flight was called, and he left us before we could talk to him further.
Later, a retired Vietnam veteran approached us, who also confided that Ramstein Air Base was receiving several casualties, almost daily. He said that the day before we’d arrived, approximately 20 flag-draped caskets were resting on the tarmac. He said that if we were to stay another day, we would see more caskets waiting to be transported to Landstuhl Army Hospital to be prepared before being sent stateside, to Dover.