[Homestead] Finally the families of dead grunts get something---not the paraplegics of course

tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Tue Feb 1 07:47:04 EST 2005

tvoivozhd---about time the grunts who make real sacrifices get something 
for their families---a fraction of what Bush superbribers pay for and 
get---gotta take of the rich first and forever, you know---carefully 
protect them from any sacrifice of their wealth or lives.

 The New York Times
February 1, 2005
Bush to Seek Rise in Benefits for Survivors of Those Killed in War

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 - Momentum picked up on Monday for a significant 
increase in government payments to the families of American troops 
killed in combat zones.

In the 2006 budget proposal submitted to Congress next week, President 
Bush will recommend increasing the death benefit paid to survivors of 
military personnel killed in combat to $100,000, from $12,420, the 
Pentagon's personnel chief, David Chu, said in an interview with The 
Associated Press. The proposal also calls for $150,000 more in life 
insurance. "We can never in any program give someone back their loved 
one," said Mr. Chu, who will discuss the details of the proposal at a 
congressional hearing on Tuesday. "There is nothing we can do about the 
hurt, to make it go away. But we can make your circumstances reasonable, 
in terms of finances."

Besides raising the one-time death payment, which is separate from other 
benefits from survivors, the administration is proposing raising the 
amount of life insurance offered to all service members under the 
Servicemen's Group Life Insurance program from $250,000 to $400,000. Mr. 
Chu said that for troops in a combat zone, the government would pay 
premiums on the added coverage.

The administration proposal is in line with legislation introduced last 
Monday by Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama.

The bill would make the benefit retroactive to October 2001 to cover 
those killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. As of Monday, according to the 
Pentagon, 1,415 Americans had died in the Iraq war and 156 in 
Afghanistan and other locations that were deemed part of the campaign 
against terrorists.

When Congress first approved the one-time death gratuity in 1908, it was 
six months' pay, only a few hundred dollars. The amount was raised in 
1956 to $1,800 to $3,000, depending on rank. In 1991, after the Persian 
Gulf war, it was raised to $6,000, half of it taxed. It is now tax=free 
and tied to military pay raises, reaching $12,420 on Jan. 1.

Senator Sessions' office said the Defense Department estimated his 
legislation would cost about $460 million in the first year.

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