Soldier Dies of Breast Cancer But Widow & Their Child Aren't Eligible for Benefits (VIDEO)

Heartbreaking 31

charlie morganAfter a long battle against stage 4 breast cancer, New Hampshire National Guard soldier Charlie Morgan passed away on Sunday morning. She will be remembered as a fighter ... not just because she was a soldier. But because she also made it a personal mission to try to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The law hit home for her -- because she was gay -- and now, even after her passing, will create problems for her widow, Karen ...

Despite the fact that Charlie and Karen were legally married and had a 5-year-old daughter named Casey together, Karen will receive NONE of the survivor benefits bestowed upon a straight military widow. Can you believe that?!

What makes this even more heartwrenching is that Charlie deeply understood how valuable government benefits could be to a military widow ... She herself lost her soldier father in the Vietnam War when she was a kid, and her mom was able to pay for food and keep a roof over their heads thanks to death benefits.

So, when Charlie voluntarily stopped chemo last April, so she and Karen could take Casey to Disney World, visit family, and try to make her final months the best they could be, she also made a wish ... 

She told The Washington Post in November:

I’m praying that [the Supreme Court takes DOMA] up soon. It’s my motivation for staying alive. I really need to be alive when they actually do overturn DOMA, otherwise Karen is not guaranteed anything.

But the Supreme Court will not hear a case involving and potentially overturning DOMA until next month ... So, everything's sort of up in the air.

Really, how on earth is that a reality that sits well with any American? A woman who bravely served her country, who valiantly fought cancer, and who stood up for what she believed is right leaves behind a widow and a child ... and the only reason they aren't entitled to death benefits is something so blatantly discriminatory, you'd think we were living in the 19th century. It's outrageous. With hope, the Morgans' story serves an illustrated example to the Supreme Court -- and all Americans -- that this injustice is simply something that won't be stood for any longer.

Here's a video about DOMA featuring Charlie before she passed away ...

How do you feel about gay military widows not receiving the same benefits as straight ones?

 

Image via /Vimeo

discrimination, military, death, cancer, breasts

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Sierr... SierraLynn

If her wife wasn't listed on her SGLI (life insurance) then of course she wouldn't het compensation. Hell, my husband could list his neighbor from childhood on his SGLI and that person would receive it. It doesn't matter about sexual orientation or who you're married to. If the wife wasn't on the paperwork, she will not receive it and no judge will overturn that. It's the service members responsibility to make sure that very important information is updated regularly.

Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

ALL  spouses/legal partners,military or otherwise, should receive the benefits owed to them when their loved one dies.Whether you agree with DOMA or not, making sure all families have equal rights/benefits is the right thing to do.Period.

Caera Caera

If she's not federally recognized as a wife of another woman, then she doesn't get the benefits. Simple.

priso... prisonblues

Federal government does not recognize same sex marriage, this couple surly knew that, the soldier should have listed her partner and child on her SGLI. I don't understand why anyone is upset about this when DADT was repealed it was clearly stated it would not mean support of homosexuals in the military but no reprisal for being openly homosexual while serving in the military.

priso... prisonblues

Federal government does not recognize same sex marriage, this couple surly knew that, the soldier should have listed her partner and child on her SGLI. I don't understand why anyone is upset about this when DADT was repealed it was clearly stated it would not mean support of homosexuals in the military but no reprisal for being openly homosexual while serving in the military.

nonmember avatar coco'smom158

Since some states are FINALLY making gay marriage legal, DOMA needs to be overturned pronto. It's disgusting that this family (and other families with deceased gay military spouses) should be denied benefits. These soldiers served and sacrificed their lives. The Supreme Court needs to ensure that it wasn't in vain.

Coles... Coles_mom

Why doesn't get child get the benefits then? I'm confused.

Sierr... SierraLynn

It does not even matter about recognition of dame sex marriage. If the wife was listed on the paperwork she will receive the life insurance. The money she will not receive is the $100,000 from the military to help with funeral expenses and stuff like that.

It's simple. Being gay has no merit to your life insurance within the military. The whatever amount she paid into with her paycheck will go to whomever is listed on the paperwork. If she was fearful that her wife wouldn't receive the money so she listed someone else is in her and.not communicating with her chain of command and S1 for proper guidance is on her.

Sierr... SierraLynn

Also, the life insurance is through Prudential. Not coming from the military itself. The military just provides the paperwork for the insurance company. So even more so to the point of sexual orientation does not matter in the fact of who is listed as the beneficiary of said money.

Just like the misconception that if a service memeber commits suicide, the family stillbdoes receive the life insurance because its through the private company.

Benny... BennyBaby09

It's not about sgli benefits. It's about access to commissary and medical benefits that defendants and widows/widowers receive after then death of their loved one. Why should only heterosexual couples be entitled to this? Do only heterosexual couples and their kids feel the heartbreaking loss of their spouse and parent? Do only heterosexuals sacrifice for their country by serving? Do only heterosexuals suffer during deployments that take them away from friends an family for months or years? Do only heterosexuals feel the sadness or guilt from missing birthdays, holidays etc? NO NO NO. We are all humans we all deserve the same rights afforded to everyone else! It was once illegal for blacks and whites to marry until that was deemed unconstitutional, why is this so different? Why isn't this seen as a human rights problem, that's exactly what it is!

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