The Briefing

Duty and Dignity

In the HBO movie Taking Chance, Kevin Bacon plays a Marine who accompanies the body of a soldier killed in Iraq back to the United States. The movie, based on a true story, explores the unique role of the military escort, whose job it is to bring home deceased service members.

The Marine Corps' Mortuary Affairs unit, featured in the movie, was created during Operation Iraqi Freedom to recover, process and deliver fallen soldiers to their families. It's a job that requires sensitivity and solemnity. Two Marines who worked in the unit have been putting their experience to use stateside.

Benjamin Lichtenwalner and Ryan Perhaps the federal government should move the nation's capital to sunny California. The country's most populous state also boasts the largest number of federal employees and retirees. Washington clocked in at No. 7 with 187,582 feds and retirees, just barely behind New York (as usual). But that group makes up about 32 percent of D.C.'s total population.

Sawyer run Biotrauma Inc., a Georgiabased company that cleans up death scenes after a homicide, suicide or natural causes. In Georgia alone, there is an average of 1,000 suicides and 600 homicides per year. And in 80 percent of those cases, statistics show that the family of the victim cleans up the home- removing blood, tissue and fluids. It's a psychologically difficult experience and one that distressed families need not be exposed to, Lichtenwalner says.

That's where Biotrauma comes in. "It's not just a cleanup," he adds. "It's safeguarding a family's health and also their emotional well-being."

-Robert Brodsky

Feds Across America

Perhaps the federal government should move the nation's capital to sunny California. The country's most populous state also boasts the largest number of federal employees and retirees. Washington clocked in at No. 7 with 187,582 feds and retirees, just barely behind New York (as usual). But that group makes up about 32 percent of D.C.'s total population.

Spheres Of Influence

President Obama has named at least nine policy czars so far, prompting some criticism that he's gone "czar wild." To complicate matters even more, some of the czars' portfolios overlap with one another as well as tread on the turf of their Cabinet counterparts.

Step lively, folks.

-Kellie Lunney

More Than One Way to Save a Tree

Even before the nation became keen on green, the Government Printing Office began recycling waste paper-nearly 150 years ago, in fact.

It has since expanded that effort to boxes, scrap metal, photo fi lm, metal and plastic drums, computer disks and videocassettes.

Between the towering stacks of official documents such as the federal budget and government's two "daily newspapers"-the Congressional Record and the Federal Register-GPO's presses run off nearly 3 billion pages annually.

According to the agency's newest annual report, it recycled more than 5.6 million pounds of waste paper in 2008, and the result was:

34,020 trees saved

28.9 million gallons of water fl ow conserved

3 million pounds of landfi ll waste diverted

5.9 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions eliminated

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