Congress passed the bill paying the military, and Obama signed it. Yet the Pentagon is interpreting this to deny the families the benefit, and telling the families it is because of Congress. This is beyond obscene, a part of a continuing attack on the military to diminish and divide.
RIP Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno and Special Agent Joseph M. Peters, killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Sunday.
The NBC article continues the lie, quoting a grieving relative blaming the Tea Party.
In what veterans groups call an outrageous slight after the ultimate sacrifice, the shuttered federal government is withholding a $100,000 payment normally wired to relatives of soldiers killed at war.
The payment, known as the death gratuity, is typically sent to families of the fallen within 36 hours to help them cover funeral costs or travel to meet the flag-draped coffins of their loved ones.
The families of five American service members killed over the weekend in Afghanistan have been notified that they will not receive the payment.
“Impacting grieving families when they are at their absolute weakest point is just disgusting,” said Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the largest organization of combat veterans in the United States.
“Veterans, military personnel and now their families are not to be used as leverage in this political game of blame,” he said. He called on leaders in Congress to “put the country ahead of their politics.”
Congress passed a law last week to pay the military during the shutdown. Pentagon officials studied it to assess whether it might cover the death gratuity and determined that it was not possible, a defense official told NBC News on Tuesday.