shut down priorities

Families of service members killed in action

The families of a Marine and four soldiers killed last weekend in Afghanistan didn’t receive the $100,000 death benefit owed to them by the government. Those service members are among the 26 military members who have died since the shutdown began Oct. 1. The other families didn’t receive a check either. Usually the benefit is paid within three days.

President Obama ordered the Defense Department and the White House budget office to find an immediate legal way to pay the death benefits, NPR reported. In an agreement reached Wednesday, the Fisher House Foundation will provide the benefits to families and will be reimbursed by the Pentagon when the shutdown has ended.

Before the agreement was reached, families expressed their disappointment. NBC News reported:

“It is upsetting because my husband died for his country, and now his family is left to worry,” said Ashley Peters of Springfield, Mo., whose husband, Joseph, was a special agent assigned to the Army’s 5th Military Police Battalion and was among the five killed. “My husband always said if something happened to him we would be taken care of.”

NBC News added:

“If Congress were trapped in a car that sunk down in a river, I would swim to the window, and I would look them all in the eye and say, ‘Suck water,’” said [Pfc. Cody] Patterson’s father, Randall Patterson. He used an expletive to characterize members of Congress who “are still getting paid.”

Read more at: http://goo.gl/qkvLga

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