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