Denying Immediate Death Benefits to Families of Fallen Soldiers Is a Disgusting Political Ploy

Five U.S. service members died over the weekend in Afghanistan, and now the government is refusing to shell out a $100,000 benefit to their families to help with the immediate costs of burying a loved one killed while serving their country.

A “death gratuity” is usually wired to the families within 36 hours. It’s intended to cover funeral costs, time lost at work, and travel expenses to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to witness the return of their loved ones in flag-draped coffins.

But no. The government is shut down, so we must do things like keep geriatric heroes out of parks and deny benefits to grieving soldiers’ families.

"The government is hurting the wrong people," said Shannon Collins, who lost her son over the weekend in Afghanistan. "Families shouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to bury their child ... Families shouldn’t have to worry about how they're going to feed their family if they don’t go to work this week."

Amen Sister. And God bless your son Marine Lance Corporal Jeremiah M. Collins, and may he rest in peace.

There is something very, very wrong here. There is money to pay these families, and they should be paid. If there is money to run Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website, then there is money for these families.

If there is money for the glitchy Obamacare exchange websites that no one seems to be able to get through to, then there is money for these families.

This is just another sick political ploy so that President Obama can say that the dirty Republicans are refusing to do exactly what I want, so it’s their fault!

Ok, obviously I’m paraphrasing, but it’s basically what he’s saying. It’s a temper tantrum, and unlike a 2-year-old you can send to his room, this guy runs the country.

The Republicans have said over and over that they’re more than willing to negotiate. They got caught on a hot mic saying they want to negotiate. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid convinced the President to cancel a negotiation meeting with top GOP lawmakers before the shutdown.

When Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi refuse to bend even the slightest bit to the center, it’s annoying. When they blame the right for not being united with them because we don’t all want to go stand in the failed utopia of leftist ideals, it’s maddening.

When they use political ploys like denying immediate death benefits to fallen soldiers’ families, it’s just sick.

President Obama, you have the power to fix this. Do it. Do it now, for Shannon Collins, a grieving mother that just lost her 19-year-old son.

For the sacrifice our kids are making, at the age that they’re making them, I don’t understand how this can be a benefit that’s withheld. I won’t ever understand it .... How can we do that to these young men and these young women, who come back having lost their lives? I just really hope that the government really figures this out.

Do you think the families should receive the death gratuity despite the government shutdown?


Image via Alex Brandon/Corbis

barack obama, death, discrimination, economy, health care, human rights, in the news, law, media, military, politics, white house


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PJThom PJThom

This was an "interesting" take on the issue...

cmjaz cmjaz

Or pbs gets millions durimg the shutdown

nonmember avatar Sam

I think you forgot to mention that this shutdown is Obama's fault. It's also the fault of his wife and children. Quick, make a quick edit before someone notices.

You are, again, acting like a typical Teabagging Terrorist and doing what you do best: point the blame. Take it elsewhere, sister. You're not part of any solutions in this country.

D.j. Lord

of course the pro amensty crowd manages to get a permit and use of the national mall during the shutdown..of course 83 percent of the government is still open...and the congressional gym remains open..just gotta make sure not to be on the wrong side

D.j. Lord

well pj you can go read bout all the single moms turning hookers cause the mean people took their benefits...

sarah... sarahlizzy

Jenny, you may want to mention, in the future, that the people who could have funded the benefits for dead soldiers? Was CONGRESS - who could have and SHOULD have included it in some of the few things that did get funded before everything went down (aka: all those essentials). Oh wait, it was easier for you to rail against the president, you have those articles written ahead of time, just gotta copy and paste relevant details into them. We get it. You hate him. 

This is a disgusting situation. These soldiers deserve better. The American public deserves better. But it isn't just the President. Or the Republicans. Or the Democrats. ALL of them are acting like spoiled children. ALL OF THEM. And people like you don't help one iota and you make an already bad situation worse by pretending it is just one side.

nonmember avatar KD

I don't care who's fault this is. Left, right, Obama... Whoever. At the end of the day there are promises we made to our nation's citizens, and the men and women that serve our country and die for our freedom should be put at the very top of the list to be taken care of and should be immune to this shutdown crap. My deepest sympathies to these families, and thank you to the men and women that serve us every day. Maybe our government forgot how important that is, but I certainly didn't.

nonmember avatar Annoyed

You are so predictable. And a simpleton.

Brain... BrainyMommy

"Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, announced Tuesday that he had worked with Ken Fisher, the chief executive of Fisher House Foundation, a service group for veterans, to give families an advance grant to cover flights, hotels and other incidental costs for family members to attend funerals until the government can make reimbursements." ---NY Times article

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