Donnella Raible, widow of Camp Bastion hero Lt. Col. Raible, has a message for Congress as families of the fallen face denial of death gratuity benefits during the shutdown. She wrote to me this morning:
I am so mad about the government not paying the immediate death benefit. Let me explain: The day that Chris died was the last day I received his direct deposited paycheck. I was still owed another paycheck for his 2 weeks of work that he had not been paid for. So all of our bills that are directly withdrawn from our checking account, were still coming out of our checking account that was not being replenished. So a family will receive the $100,000 to cover any upcoming and already established bills. I used that initial 100K to pay for all of the bills, as well as for any new expenses I incurred, like funeral dresswear for the kids and me and supplies for all of the people that were staying at my house.
Please bring this to light…I am so mad at Congress. Which Congress member would be willing to forgo their salary to give funds to the families of the fallen?
…And you can pose that question to our POTUS, as well. After all, “President Barack Obama called the top Republican in the GOP-controlled House Tuesday, telling Speaker John Boehner once again that he won’t negotiate over reopening the government or must-pass legislation to prevent a U.S. default on its obligations.”
Who will take the challenge? Stand up.
Meantime, there’s something ordinary citizens can do. Blackfive sends out a call for help on behalf of one of the affected military families:
Several Rangers have Fallen in combat during the shutdown. The Rangers’ families need your help. One such family is the Pattersons.
Due to the government shutdown and the denial of death benefits, PFC Cody Patterson’s family is under severe financial distress. The 75th Ranger Regiment is currently attempting to collect donations through the Ranger Assistance Fund.
Contributions can be made at the RAFs website at http://www.75thraf.org/ by clicking the “Donate Here” button.
Checks can be sent to:
The Ranger Assistance Fund
2733 Summerfield Pl.
Phenix City, AL 36867
Do your part!