Instagram photos of National Guard members cause controversy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Instagram photos of National Guard members cause controversy

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A Wisconsin National Guard member has been suspended for pictures posted on social media. (Source: Instagram/WISN/CNN) A Wisconsin National Guard member has been suspended for pictures posted on social media. (Source: Instagram/WISN/CNN)

MADISON, WI (WISN/CNN) – The Wisconsin National Guard is investigating what it calls "controversial and distasteful photos" taken by a member of the military funeral honor guard.

Two pictures taken by Wisconsin National Guard specialist and funeral honor guard member Terry Harrison posted on Instagram got her suspended.

One photo is of Harrison with a folded flag in the background and a caption that reads, "It's so cold out…why have a funeral outside? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."

Then Harrison took a seemingly light-hearted group photo after her graduation of training for honors at funerals, with the comment, "We put the ‘fun' in funeral."

Major Paul Rickert of the Wisconsin National Guard says Harrison had been serving on the funeral honor guard for about a year and says it's a significant position.

"We don't excuse or condone the pictures or the comments," Rickert said. "We take it very seriously. We expect our honors teams to treat our veterans and veteran service members that they inter with the respect and honor they deserve."

Rickert said they do have social media awareness in their yearly training, but they also don't stop any soldiers from using it.

"It's an expression of free speech; however, we expect soldiers and airmen to conduct themselves professionally and honorably. They're representing not only themselves, but also the national Guard," Rickert said.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he's not happy about the picture.

"To men, it's just completely unacceptable. It's an outrage," Walker said. "It's unfathomable to me that people who are, not just service members, but were picked to be in this highly specialized area, wouldn't be sensitive enough to realize just how awful that is."

The National Guard says Harrison has been getting threats online and on her phone since posting the photos. The National Guard says they are taking measures to protect her.

Copyright 2014 WISN via CNN. All rights reserved.

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