Shutdown delays death benefits for family of fallen Marine

Michele Fiore

Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Shutdown delays death benefits for family of fallen Marine

CREATED Oct. 8, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 8, 2013

MILWAUKEE - The military has denied death benefits to a Milwaukee family who lost a son in Afghanistan due to the government shutdown. You could say the government's giving the family of Marine Lance Corporal Jeremiah Collins an I.O.U. But, when their needs are immediate, how will they get by?  

"In the end, the government is hurting the wrong people," said his mother Shannon Collins.

Three days after Jeremiah Collins died in Afghanistan, his mom's trying to make funeral arrangements.
 
"I don't necessarily have $10,000 to bury my son, so with that being said, is the funeral home gonna come after me?" questioned Shannon Collins.
 
Collins should be getting a $100,000 death benefit to help with funeral expenses, but the government shutdown's got that fund locked up.
 
"For the sacrifice that our, our kids are making at the age that they're making them, I don't understand how this can be a benefit that's withheld," said Shannon Collins.
 
Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore wonders the same thing.  She expects to see an emergency bill in the next few days, one that would have bipartisan support.
 
"So I don't doubt that the Republicans would either author the bill or be willing to uh, allow it to go on the floor, given the sad news this weekend," said Moore.
 
In a statement issued Tuesday, Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson called such legislation, "more urgent than the extra money the administration has spent to barricade monuments in Washington D.C."
 
Local Army veteran James Stroh has set up a Facebook page and bank account to collect money for servicemen and women killed while the government is shut down.
 

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