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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Troop deaths in Iraq hit blended families hard
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Friday, February 16, 2007

Troop deaths in Iraq hit blended families hard

particularly since, by every available statistic, blended and non-traditional families are today's rule, not the exception...
[T]he $100,000 "death gratuity" ... goes first to a spouse or a child.

when you stop and think of how many single parents there are and how many grandparents end up raising their children's kids, even WITHOUT losing a child to an illegal war, you can imagine that there are a lot of folks struggling just to meet expenses...
The death gratuity, more than many other benefits, adheres to a strict next-of-kin rule, which Pentagon officials say makes it possible to pay out the $100,000 within a few days. They say that, in the "vast majority of cases," spo, uses are most in need when paychecks stop.

But there have been thousands of single parents deployed into combat zones since 2001. How many have died at war is unclear, but the Jaenke case shows that, in those cases, the benefit may be at odds with its original intent: to help the grieving family stay afloat when a service member's income suddenly stops.

the rules that govern these things, particularly in a time of war when young men and women, many of them parents, are dying, should be subject to continuous review to insure they are meeting the purpose for which they are intended... but, like so much else in our twisted governmental priorities, if it doesn't help business and the defense industry or foster the conditions for endless war, it might as well not exist...

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