Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Shutdown of military death benefits stirs national action

Shutdown of military death benefits stirs national action
The Washington Times
By Cheryl K. Chumley
October 8, 2013

A nonprofit group dedicated to helping troops and Marines decided to jump in to assist families of killed military members deprived of their $100,000 death benefits after reading a Washington Times report.

Jennifer Magerer, executive director of Family Communications and Logistics for Luke’s Wings, said in an interview with The Washington Times that staffers on Tuesday voted to take thousands of their nonprofit’s dollars and put it toward paying for the families to fly to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where the bodies and caskets will be unloaded.

“We read the story,” Ms. Magerer said, in reference to an earlier Times report that detailed the plight of families of recently killed service members, “and we talked about if we could step in a do something.

Our … president said go for it.” She also said in an emailed statement that her group was “deeply saddened” by the government’s failure to pay the benefit.

Within minutes, she said staffers had reached out with telephone calls to the Undersecretary of the Army, to the wife of the Commandant of the Marine Corps and to contacts at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to see if they could join together Luke’s Wings with the families of the killed service members and facilitate the offer.
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