RTFU

Government Fails our Newly Rendered Gold Star Families

By
Updated: October 8, 2013
75th

 

By Tommy Batboy

Sunday night was not a good night for troops on the ground. A Marine was killed during a combat patrol. A platoon from 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment helicopter assaulted onto target. In the end, four died—two Rangers, two attachments. There were so many wounded by the command detonated IEDs and suicide bombers that the platoon was rendered combat ineffective. For those of you that have served, it was the nightmare you hope you’d never have to face: it was a mas-cas.

But because of what I can only describe as one of the grossest failings of our government during the current shut down (and that’s saying something, I know), the tragedy of Sunday night’s actions are just beginning.

According to sources inside of Special Operations Command, this morning at roughly 0930 there was a video teleconference. In the conference, liaison personnel who were already tasked with the almost impossible job of telling these families their son or daughter has been killed in action, now have to tell them something else: that their government has failed them and they will not be getting any governmental assistance until the government shutdown is over.

fallenIt is standard DOD policy to send families of our KIA $100,000 within 36 hours of the incident. This money is used to cover emergency flights to Dover AFB to meet the casket and start making funeral arrangements, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars when it’s all said and done. It’s to pay to fly non-immediate family to the funeral, to help with the cost of the takeout food that these families are about to live off of for the next week. It’s for hotels, rental cars, all the things that you need when you take an emergency trip.

These brave American’s caskets haven’t even made it back to the United States, and the government’s idea of “help” is to send these newly grieving families an IOU.

The government voted, overwhelmingly, to continue to pay and fund our armed forces as they gripe and moan and take pot shots at each other over Obamacare. Yet, they are refusing to do the most important thing when things go horribly wrong: take care of the families of those we lose.

Inside the past 24hours a mother had a man knock on her door and told her son died half way around the world. Half a day later the same guy is about to knock on her door and tell her that she’s going to need to cash in her savings account until Washington “re-opens for business” as the political pundits have been saying all the past week.

Stop. Think about that for a second.

Five people just made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, to defend our way of life, dozens more are currently wounded—many fighting for their lives right now—and all Uncle Sam is doing is tell them “we’ll help you when we are done arguing about how much we’ve already failed, thanks.”

This is personal to me. I’m not going to try and pretend otherwise. I served overseas, like many of you. I deployed twice. I wrote the letters to my family in case I died. I had my will and my requests for how my funeral should have been run. But one of the things that I took comfort in was that as bad as all that would be—as much as I knew my Mom would cry and as much as I knew my family would grieve—I knew that my death wouldn’t be a financial hit. That my brothers in arms would be able to take government funds and make sure my family had what they needed.

For these five families, that is now a lie.

Those families have all become casualties of this war. Instead of our government making it easier, they are only making it harder on the families they swore to help. Instead of living up to their promises to care for its grieving citizens, they are turning their backs on the people who need help the most.

Our government was founded on the principle “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” I’m asking for all of your help to make a little bit of that happen today.

This is an email link for the online directory of Congressional Representatives.

Please, find yours. Take five minutes to send them a scathing email. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and in my opinion it doesn’t need to be polite. Use the five minutes to give them a piece of your mind.

Most members of Congress have a Facebook page: light ‘em up.

Help us bring the fight to them.

Help us advocate for the families.

Help us take care of our Brothers and Sisters in arms.

Once again we have been reminded today of the simple, honest truth when you serve: it’s about the man next to you, that’s it.

Right now the families of those men need our help.

3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment has requested that if you would like to make a donation to please utilize one of the following charities:

Ranger Assistance Fund

Lead the Way Foundation

Comments

comments

77 Comments

  1. Anna Owsley

    October 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Done! Please publish any details on where we can help support these families when you get it.

    • 3rd ID Medic

      October 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Done as well. My Senators office didn’d like the call or tweet.

    • Tammy Fitzgerald

      October 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      I tried to contact my Congressman, Frank Wolf, VA — no phone calls and the website is delayed and not receiving emails…….what a crock of ––––!

    • David McCoy

      October 8, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Wher is the contact info for our POS PODUS?

      • ar

        October 9, 2013 at 3:29 am

        Potus* if your gonna call someone a pos then get it right.

  2. Pete Robertson

    October 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I send both of my senators and my congressman an email telling them how much they failed.

    • Tyler

      October 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      I find this so completely irresponsible. There needs to be a system in order to ensure that even if the government is shut down that the other services are not affected. I don’t think I can stress enough how morally and proffesionaly unacceptable this is by any government. As a Canadian I empathize with my American brothers and wish there was something I could do to send a message to the US government. If anyone has any information on how IIcan help please email me. Thank you

      • Maureen

        October 9, 2013 at 1:25 am

        Tyler: Try contacting an American Consulate in Canada. There should be one in Ottawa, but I’m from Calgary (now in PA) and there was a consulate there.

  3. Jessica

    October 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Is there a fundraiser set up to help these families yet?

  4. Brian Thorn

    October 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Done, but many of the less than wonderful representatives have “shut down” their websites due to the governmental shutdown.. What a flippin’ joke!!!

  5. Bill

    October 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Please tell us how we can send money to the families and make this right. Most important thing in this write up “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” If our congress wants to sit around getting paid to do nothing for the sake of arguing a point rather than compromise and get things done like we voted them in to do, burning billions of dollars, taking work and money from American families, then we will take care of our own by ourselves.

  6. Trevor

    October 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I sent all my representatives a message letting them know how they have failed the Men and Women that serve this Country.

    • Chad

      October 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      How? All my the reps for my state have their websites shutdown. Pathetic!!

  7. Clifford Fargason

    October 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I called both Senators and my Representative. However, the money we are talking about comes out of the Executive branch, so I called the White House. They aren’t taking messages, so I sent an email from their contact page. They may not be pleased with my suggestion about taking some of the money they are paying to pay for barricading the open air monuments to send to the families.

    • Sharalyn Ayers

      October 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Don’t forget the money obama is spending to keep the golf course and moochelle’s website open… it wouldn’t be this way if it weren’t for the vindictive traitor in the whitehouse.. it is truly his intention to hurt as many Americans as he can because he isn’t getting his way. I’m sorry for the suffering of these military families, and the loss of great men/women who gave their most precious possession, LIFE in exchange for our FREEDOM. The fight here too is important and the outcome will define who we are tomorrow!

      • James Wilkie

        October 9, 2013 at 12:08 am

        This is not the time or the place for such petty horseshit. This is the same attitude that caused this situation to begin with. Shame on you.

        • Mary

          October 9, 2013 at 11:58 am

          Well said. No president bashing needed. There is a time and a place. Save that for your Facebook.

  8. Ann Szwajkowski

    October 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I used to work for Casualty Affairs. The fund is actually diapursed to the families to pay for bills and everyday living until the life insurance is paid. See when a soldier is killed all pay stops and bank accounts are frozen until the estate is settled. Many military families do not have enough to get them through the 3-6 months (or more) till the insurance kicks in and probate is complete. Making this move by the administration much worse than presented.

  9. Carolyn

    October 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    From Kerry Patton via Tom Amenta, “From my buddy Tom Amenta: “If you can help, PLEASE DO!: I just got off the phone with one of 3/75’s Rear D NCOs. Due to the government shutdown, the families of Sunday nights KIA will not be receiving the initial $100,000 death gratuity to help defray costs until the Government goes back to work. PFC Cody Patterson’s family is under severe financial distress and is unsure who they are going to be able to get to Dover to meet his casket. 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.”

    Also, even though the Pay Our Military Act exists, those in the military will not be paid during the shut down. From the DFAS page (http://www.dfas.mil/pressroom/govtshutdown.html): “During the government shutdown, the Department of Defense will have no legal authority to pay any personnel – military or civilian – for the days during which the government is shut down. The shutdown will not affect payments to retirees and annuitants as those funds come from a retirement trust fund. Below is the effect the government shutdown will have on active duty military, civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, and DoD contractors.” The are aware of the act but are, “awaiting further guidance from the Department of Defense to ensure we accurately implement all elements of the Act.”

  10. don soos

    October 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Perhaps we can join Obama on the golf course, which is still open as a vital instrument of government. Once again Obama is showing his utter disdain and paranoiac attitude towards our military and, most importantly, towards our Constitution.

  11. thad lucken

    October 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    i would call my senator or congressman, but i live in michigan and they couldnt give a shit about rangers. do rangers vote democrat? didnt think so..

    • Helen Tatum

      October 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      The House has already passed a bill to fund the government , all of it except Obamacare and the Senate wont bring it to a vote and Obama has promised to veto it if they do. The House has passed a bill to fund the military fully, but the Senate wont bring it to a vote. Obama has promised to veto it if they do. The House has sent 8 funding bills to the Senate and Harry Reid has tabled them all. Obama wont allow any bill to be signed until he has his Obamacare fully funded and the debt ceiling raised without restrictions. He is working hard to see that this shut down hurts.

      • Frank

        October 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        that is completely misleading. “obamacare” is a law and is constitutional. The Republican controlled House should not be holding the debt ceiling hostage unless Obamacare is defunded. That is wrong especially when they had a deal in July. Boehner and Reid agreed to cut the budget by $70B and the debt ceiling would be approved. Boehner changed his mind. Nonesense.

  12. Tim

    October 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Sixteen members of Congress from the state of Georgia just got a nasty-gram from me. Hooah.

  13. Mike

    October 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Done, done, and done. Is there a fund raising page yet? We can at least start to do what the government is incapable of

  14. Franklin

    October 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Roy Blunt just got lit up.

  15. Jordan

    October 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I am a 100% Disabled Army Iraq War Veteran and I am not sure if I am going to get paid again next month, but I can tell you that I have cried more than once thinking of these families. I don’t have a lot of money but they can have what is in my bank account. My needs are, in my opinion, less than the needs of these poor families having to suffer a loss and then go bankrupt to give these service members the homecoming they deserve. Please help me find a way to support them.

    • another mom

      October 8, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      You are a true hero! Thank you for your service, sacrifices and being a generous,honorable person!

    • Washington Citizen

      October 9, 2013 at 2:17 am

      true man right there. you served your country and nobody can ask anymore of you yet you still sacrifice your own money just to help a fellow comrades family. HOORAH!!

  16. Chad

    October 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Emails will not be looked at until shutdown is over and websites are down. So how do you express your concern?

    • mamawearscombatboots

      October 9, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Most of them have FB page

  17. carmen

    October 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    My Senator’s office contact page states:
    NOTE: Due to the federal government shutdown, Senator Murray’s office is currently unable to respond to any incoming email or mail correspondences, tour requests, or any other inquiries from constituents. The Senator and her staff apologize for this inconvenience.

    What an outrage.

  18. Juan herrera

    October 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I proudly served in the navy, I never ever thought, that the u.s. Government would stab us in the back in such a cold blooded double bladed dagger, I guess this is how we can count on our true friends in our greatest times of hard ships, you senators, and cogresmen, and congress women give some of your big pay check raises, back to these needy families, god will bless you all in many ways, please touch your hearts, and souls, gods speed ahead to all these families, you are all in my families prayers may god bless you always…

  19. Jack Daggett

    October 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I’m a Gold Star Father. I started EFFA to help save the lives of our soldiers committing suicide. One of my military Board members sent me your link on the lack of support for Gold Star families. Having been there, I know how important financial support is at this point in time. I have started a special fund for the families of those who recently fell with your posting. We haven’t started to raise funds for our mission yet, but do expect to raise some funds. Keep me in the loop. Jack Daggett Gold Star Father Founder CEO EFFA. We are a nonprofit.

    • another mom

      October 8, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Jack,

      I very much admire what you are doing. There has got to be some sort of help for families, not just spouses. I am a single mom on disability. My son’s death and situation is extremely difficult and I’m getting nowhere with the VA. Please let me know how I can contact you. I desperately need some advice and help. The link you posted is not working. My heart is breaking for these families and I’m disgusted beyond words at what is happening!!! I would like to help this cause however possible.

      Thank you.

    • another mom

      October 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      My replies are not showing up. This is a test.

  20. Dan Jordan Jr.

    October 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Being a veteran and a Gold Star Child from the Vietnam era, this makes me sick. McCain’s office is not even answer phones or taking messages. I just lit up my Congressman. Get on the phone or email your Congressperson, Senators and email the White House. (The WH is only taking emails) This can not stand. Our government has failed. (http://www.virtualwall.org/dj/JordanDW01a.htm)

  21. DH Pence

    October 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    This ain’t congress. This is square on the head of that pansy ass wanna be commander in chief. The money’s there, hell Camp David is wide open and fully manned. That humongous fleet of rental cars the pentagon has is still there. Hell I defy one person to name a General or Admirals mess stateside or overseas that has closed.

    Nope – this is all Obama and we need to make him own it.

  22. Stacy fidler

    October 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Likes wings.org. They fly wounded and families and already stepping up to help these families.

  23. plb1234

    October 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Just another insult compliments of King Obama to our military. Playing games with the vets visiting the memorials, gutting the military, this, and many more. At least we’ll know what side the military will be on when it hits the fan. You’d think obumer would want to keep the milkitary happy. Guess he’s relying on his FEMA troops and civilain force. Good luck with that BO. Plus millions of vets ready to roll. God help us.

    • Jackie

      October 9, 2013 at 1:26 am

      Don’t call him King. He is a “Want to be” of many things, and has no problem throwing temper tantrums, and denying those in need, if he does not get his way.

      Not giving the families of our beloved military what they need is unconscionable!

  24. frmlrs

    October 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I would like to point out the fact that these families were told they would not receive gratiuty payments is a choice of the executive branch…this is a matter of priorities…only 15% of the government is actually shutdown. 85% is still working and is still receiving their pay….so the long and short is that somebody made the decisions that those 85% of other things were more important to fund than this. That was a decision made in the executive branch…it is time for people to get a little smarter and not allow their selves to be so easily manipulated into putting pressure on the wrong people.

  25. Gail

    October 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    My son is in the military. The actions of our congressman and head of state makes me sick. I cannot believe they’re leaving these families with no support for the loved ones who lost their lives defending our country and these idiots in Washington. They all need to get their act together and get our country back on track.

  26. Uncle Buster

    October 8, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    This Sunday:

    http://1mvetmarch.wordpress.com/

    If you guys at RU and anyone else want to be there, I will be. Rally Point TBD.

  27. Alyson

    October 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Pathetic. Way to go, congress. Oh, and “Mr. President”. Screw you, you should be ashamed. Women, and men are dying, fighting for your right to sit there, and waste our time. How dare they treat these families with such disrespect.

    • Uncle Buster

      October 8, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      YOUR Commander-in-Chief (not mine) is an avowed Socialist. A Marxist almost certainly. A political opportunist of the finest Chicago kind…but he is IN NO WAY qualified to lead this country, or to send her sons and daughters into harm’s way. The same applies to our so-called “elected” representatives who only have self-interest on their agendas.

      People like us, and those like us…we are just so far beneath the “political elite” that we’re not even a rounding error in their minds.

      A “vet” makes a good sound byte but little else. A “wounded vet” makes for some good video.

      In their minds, we are what Thoreau described as “no better than horses and dogs”, and Libtards ALL love Emerson, Thoreau, Marx, and all of the other political theorists: the so-called “geniuses” that never heard a shot fired in anger, and probably would have run like little girls if they had.

      They hate and fear us and all that we stand for, and the ultimate irony is that we are simply their fellow citizens.

      Ok, so be it.

      Uncle Buster opines that the time has come to Break Bad.

      There is NO WAY that the United States can survive as our Founding Fathers intended without extreme intervention. Do we stand up…or roll over like pussies all the while salving our souls with platitudes like “Well, it’s the democratic process.” WRONG! Sorry, sunshine, but that process has been corrupted long ago by BIG government, BIG unions, BIG media, BIG special interests, and smaller and smaller CITIZENS.

      If there is one thing that Marxists and Libtards fear, it is the force of arms.

      Just sayin’

  28. bonnie

    October 9, 2013 at 12:08 am

    our government today doe’s not care about the people or even the soldiers that lose there lives trying to protect our country and our rights the only thing they care about is lining their own pockets at the expense of these families and struggling americans

  29. Robert smith

    October 9, 2013 at 1:13 am

    America is not at war, America is at the mall. The military is at war. God bless those who actually sacrifice, not the rest of the diabetic sheep.

  30. Eric Thomas

    October 9, 2013 at 1:17 am

    “The best men are not for soldiering as the best steel is not for nails”. They signed up to sacrifice, they succeeded. Hoo-ah?

    • David Steinbach

      October 9, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Eric,

      So tell us all on this page, what better man is there than the one who becomes Americas wall? When the spartan warrior was asked about the the safety of spartan citizens & lack of walls in his country; the young warrior simply raised his spear and said “this is Sparta’s wall”. Your comments are rude, antagonistic and incorrect. Your quote is a Chinese proverb and is stated “don’t waste good iron for nails or good men for soldiers” so at least copy another persons original thought correctly seeing that you are incapable of your own. If you would like to either discuss this further or test the caliber of your steel then by all means, come to Columbus Georgia and I will let you see for yourself who the better class of men are.

      • elisabeth

        October 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm

        Thank you David! Eric Thomas take him up on his offer. Some of the most brilliant men are in Uniform. They reach for a higher level of existence than the normal citizen. God bless them ALL

  31. 61 Mechanised Mike

    October 9, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Baie Goed my Boet Uncle Buster. Words of wisdom and so true.
    My Grandfather once said of the Nazis in his home country of Germany.
    Never allow gutter snipes to take over your country for this is what happens…………

    Odalf Hitler Obama, Heinrich Holder, Reichmarshall “Tubby Goering” Feinstein, Obergruppenfuhrer Napolitano and the rest of these brown shirt goons are hell bent on destroying your country and you folks had better start doing something about it before the SS-DHS herd you into their concentration camps!!! What this regime has done including what is listed in this article is further proof of what this EVIL is doing!

  32. Dan

    October 9, 2013 at 6:51 am

    While this is a tragedy, please stop perpetuating that the government shutdown is a bad thing! Our government is created for situations like this. The House has passed numerous bills to “fund the government” but all have been denied in the senate.

    This shutdown is a result of our government working, not that it’s ineffective. The system is designed so that no party has excess ability to get what it wants.

    We as Soldiers serve to protect the Constitution, which is the document that allows this shutdown! STOP promoting the media’s agenda to make people think this is a crisis! This is not a crisis! God bless the men fighting and the families of those KIA.

  33. Laura

    October 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Dear Lord, I have been so upset this since I heard it yesterday. We’ve all been annoyed by these spiteful shutdowns but this is crossing the line!

    Our Troops are not political footballs! They serve our entire country, no matter what political party, race or ethnicity.

    We all need to get this out there so that we the people can help these families. We will take care of them since our government has turned their back on them!

    • Jim

      October 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Laura, thank you for your post. I have no idea whether we cancel out each other’s votes during elections, but that’s not really relevant. This is a black mark on all of us. We need to step in and provide help, not rhetoric.

      Speaking to that, I would like to challenge the other commenters to donate at least $50 for each Important Political Opinion they express on this thread.

  34. Hall

    October 9, 2013 at 9:20 am

    202-225-4151 : This is the number to the Armed Services Committee. Please call and ask them why the $100,000 death gratuity is not being paid to the Gold Star Families.

  35. TxBran

    October 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

    At what point and in what manner to “We the People” take back the government? This VOTING process clearly is not helping.

    We need a leader – not a politician. What can we do other than send emails to politicians who obviously DO NOT care. Let’s be honest, they are not reading our messages and if one of their staff IS reading them, they don’t give a crap because they are still being paid and are not being shot at.

    How can we the people make a REAL and MEASURABLE change?

  36. Ken

    October 9, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Done. Sent letter to OH Rep. Turner.

  37. Mike

    October 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Excellent article! Unfortunately, there is one big key piece missing, and that is the Commander In Chief. The ultimate responsibility belongs to him and him alone.

  38. tony

    October 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Seriously, men lost their lives and you mock that sacifice? I hope they take whatever government assistance a retard like you is on away. You are an obamaturd.

  39. Sam

    October 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    The President should be shouted back to the table. He could easily make this problem go away.

  40. Michael

    October 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I wrote this message to each of my two Senators and my Congressional Representative. I would encourage all of you to write something similar. You’re welcome to copy and edit and use what I have written, or write your own. Go to the Senate and House websites and message them there. Find their fax numbers and email addresses online and send them copies of your version of this letter. Or use my letter as talking points for calling their offices.

    —–

    I read an article today that, as a United States Marine, absolutely disgusts me. It’s about one of the few promises our government has made to us that serve that actually matter to me: that if the time comes when we make an ultimate sacrifice, the government will be there to take care of the loved ones we leave behind.

    Your assurance is literally the only thing we have that allows us to leave those loved ones behind in clear conscience when we deploy to the far flung places that you, Honorable Congressman, ask us to go. And we go willingly, repeatedly, and without complaint.

    Sunday, this very past weekend, five Americans and brothers-in-arms died for our country in combat. Two US Army Rangers and two soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, as well as one United States Marine. Five Americans, dead, abroad, while serving our country faithfully. Government shutdown did not stop combat operations for them.

    And the government’s response to their deaths? Paraphrased, it was “Those sacred promises we made to take care of your loved ones—the promises you count on to keep a clear conscience when you deploy— are on hold while we debate healthcare and budgets.”

    You see, the government provides immediate funds (within 36 hours) to the next-of-kin of our brave, fallen brothers-in-arms so that they can buy tickets to fly out to greet the casket of their son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, or sister. The funds also enable them to live off of delivery food, sleep in hotels, pay for a rental car, make funeral arrangements, and all of the other necessary and unavoidable expenses they must incur when they go out to greet their fallen soldier or Marine. As if they haven’t already, as a family, made some ultimate sacrifice to the American republic.

    But during this government shutdown, Defense officials have learned that this money will not be provided. These families had better have a ton of cash saved up, otherwise they can’t greet their legitimately-heroic loved one’s remains and make the funeral arrangements. That is simply an unacceptable burden to place on these families who are in the throes of grief as their loved one just gave their life to this country’s cause.

    This isn’t a contractor’s bill the government can pay later or an invoice for a new stack of business cards. This is an absolute integral part of the promise the American government (and you, Honorable Congressman) have repeatedly made to those of us who serve. And it’s unconscionable that the government (even if by oversight, with everything else going on) will fail to honor this promise.

    Therefore, I am imploring you, your Honor, to fix this unconscionable oversight today. This very day, Wednesday, October 9th. Write a bill, from your office as a Congressman from my district, to fund these immediate casualty assistance payments to these five families and the families of any additional fallen soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, or coastguardsmen who certainly did not choose to die for our country, in combat, honorably, during a government shutdown.

    Respectfully Implored,
    LCpl [[NAME]]

  41. Michael

    October 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I read an article today that, as a United States Marine, absolutely disgusts me. It’s about one of the few promises our government has made to us that serve that actually matter to me: that if the time comes when we make an ultimate sacrifice, the government will be there to take care of the loved ones we leave behind.

    Your assurance is literally the only thing we have that allows us to leave those loved ones behind in clear conscience when we deploy to the far flung places that you, Honorable Congressman, ask us to go. And we go willingly, repeatedly, and without complaint.

    Sunday, this very past weekend, five Americans and brothers-in-arms died for our country in combat. Two US Army Rangers and two soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, as well as one United States Marine. Five Americans, dead, abroad, while serving our country faithfully. Government shutdown did not stop combat operations for them.

    And the government’s response to their deaths? Paraphrased, it was “Those sacred promises we made to take care of your loved ones—the promises you count on to keep a clear conscience when you deploy— are on hold while we debate healthcare and budgets.”

    You see, the government provides immediate funds (within 36 hours) to the next-of-kin of our brave, fallen brothers-in-arms so that they can buy tickets to fly out to greet the casket of their son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, or sister. The funds also enable them to live off of delivery food, sleep in hotels, pay for a rental car, make funeral arrangements, and all of the other necessary and unavoidable expenses they must incur when they go out to greet their fallen soldier or Marine. As if they haven’t already, as a family, made some ultimate sacrifice to the American republic.

    But during this government shutdown, Defense officials have learned that this money will not be provided. These families had better have a ton of cash saved up, otherwise they can’t greet their legitimately-heroic loved one’s remains and make the funeral arrangements. That is simply an unacceptable burden to place on these families who are in the throes of grief as their loved one just gave their life to this country’s cause.

    This isn’t a contractor’s bill the government can pay later or an invoice for a new stack of business cards. This is an absolute integral part of the promise the American government (and you, Honorable Congressman) have repeatedly made to those of us who serve. And it’s unconscionable that the government (even if by oversight, with everything else going on) will fail to honor this promise.

    Therefore, I am imploring you, your Honor, to fix this unconscionable oversight today. This very day, Wednesday, October 9th. Write a bill, from your office as a Congressman from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to fund these immediate casualty assistance payments to these five families and the families of any additional fallen soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, or coastguardsmen who certainly did not choose to die for our country, in combat, honorably, during a government shutdown.

    Respectfully Implored,
    LCpl [[NAME]]

  42. J.P

    October 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    As a semi homeless disabled vet.
    I am appalled at this disgusting act from our government. If I do get my disabled pension I am sending it to the charities that are sending the money to the families of our fallen and I implore more of the country to stand up and do the same. Call you senators demand action call your congressman/woman and demand action. Remember these turds work for us, not the other way around.

  43. Cale Schorer

    October 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Here’s mine…
    Mr Schumer…I write you today, frankly disgusted and PISSED OFF with every one of you fools in WASHINGTON. YOU, AS A COLLECTIVE have made a mockery of our once great country, one I SERVED AND PLEDGED MY LIFE FOR. Those that weren’t so fortunate need YOUR COMMITMENT TO THEM NOW. Take care of their families with the PROMISE TO PAY THEM FOR THEIR LOSSES that they have suffered so that you buffoons can argue over who’s more responsible for the mess we have in Washington…Remember you are a representative of the People…You are a tool and when that tool is no longer useful, it gets replaced. You should all be ashamed of yourselves and your conduct.
    Sincerely,
    William Cale Schorer IV…
    A PISSED OFF VETERAN

  44. Eric

    October 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Sent to 2 out of 3 of my elected idiots. At least 2 of them still had their websites running. The third did not.I will get my thoughts to him when I can.

  45. lee

    October 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you for letting us know about this travesty. Please start a petition on Change.org asap since we can’t get through to our Congressmen. It has really helped in the past.

  46. rick

    October 9, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Let’s get this right, as others have expressed – it is NOT the House of Representatives causing this. It is a president and Senate Majority Leader who are PURPOSELY causing this grief for the sole purpose of trying to have citizens look at the effect not the cause. Bill after Bill allowing for funding of Government programs has been sent to Harry Reid. He sits on them. We have three branches fro a reason, and the reason is NOT for any branch to be a rubber stamp for another. Like so many of you, I served my time and did my duty. It makes me sick to see what this imposter who would be king has stooped to.

  47. Oscar Juliet

    October 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    My spouse was killed without signing up to be and I had no monies for a decent burial let alone tax monies that might could be delayed. I am meaning persons die, too many everydays, whether they are knowing it’s more possible than getting into their car. It is all so sad.

  48. John W. Taylor

    October 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Our government should hide in shame for allowing this to happen.

  49. C N

    October 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Fisher house Charities have stepped up to help all the families by paying for the government’s usual benefit, until our government funds this. Fisher House has been a source of support for all military families for some time now, so I’m not surprised they are doing this. If you are looking to help the families, it might be a good idea to send it to Fisher House.

  50. Proudly Serving the Red White and Blue

    October 10, 2013 at 3:19 am

    This is the letter that both my senators and reps received.
    Pardon and syntaxual errors and spelling as I typed it up in a bit of anger.
    Dear _______,
    I have been a proud member of our great state for the last 23 years of my life, leaving for brief stents here and there, but always returning to the place I gladly call hall. Not long ago, I joined the United States Army, and proudly wear this uniform, as a member of the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. I used to be very tactful about things I posted over the internet, and will admit, this is my first time ever writing a senator or congressman, but I came across an article, that has also been brought up by others at work, that is absolutely sickening to me.

    http://rhinoden.rangerup.com/governmental-fails-our-newly-rendered-gold-star-familes/

    I recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan, and on our way home, our c-17 broke down in Germany. They lined another c-17 up for us that was carrying equipment (no soldiers) home. We all stood by as they offloaded pallet after pallet of equipment. The very last thing they unloaded sent chills through every one of us standing by. The aircrew carefully carried the casket containing the remains of another great American soldier, draped in ceremonial flag, to the edge of the ramp. As it was loaded, and driven off of the flight line, you could see the pain in everyone’s eyes as they snapped to attention and saluted the soldier one last time. This was somebodies son, somebodies wife, somebodies father. It was somebodies uncle, cousin, grandson. A soldier who left, telling his loved ones that everything was going to be alright, he’d be home soon, and not to worry. I did not know this soldier, his story, his wife or kids, or even just his friends. But as I watched that flag draped casket slowly rolling away, I shed a tear for my fallen brethren. Knowing it could have been me, and my mother, fiance, father, my little brother, getting the knock on the door, or phone call in the night. Even as I write this, I begin to get choked up knowing what someones family had to go through.
    And then I think about those affected by the link above. Those who may never get to pay their final respects as the caskets are lowered into the ground. Who can’t afford to be plane side and see their soldier return for the LAST time. Families who didn’t know it was their obligation to prepare for their own loved ones death.
    I could never ask my family to make those arrangements for me, that is my job. I made the arrangements so they wouldn’t have to, it’s the least I could do.

    Sorry to drag this out. But I sincerely ask that you make this a priority. I would gladly give up my pay (I’ve already made a donation) to ensure that these families get everything they need to pay their final respects. I do thank you for making the effort to guarantee our (as active duty military servicemen and women) pay. But I ask that you make sure this same loyalty is extended to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. So many senators and representatives are pledging to donate their pay until this issue is resolved, I ask that this be one of the places that money goes.

    Thank you dearly for taking the time to read this entire email, as I have poured everything I could into it, I hope that my fingers have not failed me, and you understand how passionately we as servicemen and women feel about our fallen brothers and sisters.

    With honor and pride,
    US Servicemember

  51. sean

    October 10, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I think they should all hijack planes and just come back. this “cuntry” is not worth dying for….not anymore

  52. Michelle

    October 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    My reply:
    Note ALL of Missouri’s sites are up and running to submit a contact letter. Sent same letter to all that were in my district. I am not prior military but I do vote. Outrageous bunch of bull!!

    If this: ( hyperlinked this sight)
    is true…shame on all of you.

    Any elected official in office during a government shut-down will be looked at twice and harder for re-election as it is…add this, most of you will be out.

    Believe it or not most of America is becoming wise to political ways. Most will not stand for anyone withholding from our active military who are fighting YOUR wars. Find a way to pay this, it is the VERY least you could do.

  53. julie

    October 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    It is time to vote out everyone up for re-election. You can’t fix stupidity, but you can vote it out!

  54. Joseph Kurt

    October 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    I was passed this article by a very close friend who is active duty Army Infantry. I will be talking about it on my radio show, and will send you a link to the podcast if you like. It’s a conservative radio show, so there is a partisan slant, but I will not do any injustice to the fallen. You guys deserve better than what you are getting from your politicians. If you want links, go to http://www.943wsc.com/pages/joseph-kurt.html, and click the email tab. I will respond to whomever replies. Thank you all for your service, and great article!

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