After the first big battle of the Vietnam war, during the Ia Drang battle (LZ Xray and LZ Albany) notices of course had to be sent out to the families back home of those who were killed and until the army realized the absurdity of the process this is how it was done, as described by Gen Harold G Moore (commadner of that operation) and Joseph L. Galloway in We Were Soldiers Once…and Young:. The military would pay taxi cab drivers to carry the dreaded paperwork of “we regret to inform you” to the families of the KIA. Here’s a cuple of nasty examples)–
The driver who brought the message of the death in battle of Sergenat Billy Elliott, Alph Company to his wife, Sara, was blind drunk and staggering. As Mrs Elliott stood in the doorway of her tiny bungalow, clutching the yellow paper, the bearer of the bad tidings fell backward off her porch and passed out in her flower bed. Then the army briefly lost her husband’s body on its journey home…”
“…The knock on the door at the home of Sergeant Jeremiah Jivens of Charlie Co, came at 4 AM. Betty Jivens Mapson [sister] was fourteen at the time. ‘I have told the story to friends about how the taxi drivers used to deliver the telegrams to families who’d lost loved ones over there. Today it almost sounds unbelievable. …My mom collapsed completely as this stranger handed the telegram to us. How cold and inhuman, I thought.’” [p351).
Note: Mel Gibson made a movie about the Ia Drang battle, called We Were Soldiers, back in 2002. Some of these scenes are on Youtube. I just read the book recently.