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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:18 PM
Original message
Military Death Benefit Called Too Narrow
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&e=3&u=/ap/2...


Republicans suggested that those who die while training for combat missions also should be eligible for the increased death benefits. Democrats argued that the benefits should extend to all military personnel who die while on active duty.


Uniformed officials with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force told the Senate Armed Forces Committee, during a hearing on the proposal, that the Defense Department should not give an extra $250,000 in benefits to surviving spouses and children based simply on the geography of where a death occurs.


"They can't make a distinction. I don't think we should either," said Adm. John B. Nathman, vice chief of naval operations for the Navy. Added Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the Air Force's vice chief of staff: "I believe a death is a death and I believe this should be treated that way."

<snip>

Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record) of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said who qualifies for the death gratuity is just one of a number of problems with the Pentagon proposal. "I obviously support the increases," Levin said, "but I also believe that this should apply to survivors of all members who die on active duty,"

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illflem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. So should a guy on leave from Iraq
who gets murdered by a hooker in Tel Aviv get the bennies also?
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yes.
That's the present law. Non-discrimination.
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. I was a Casualty Assistance Call Officer and Case Officer during Viet Nam
If our national leadership take a young American - male, female, straight, gay - whatever --- and put them in harm's way --- (be it a training accident, a non-combat accident in a combat zone or in the rear echelon, or a combat accident, be it friendly fire or hostile fire)-- and return them home less then they were when the national leadership originally placed them in harm's way ---- pay.

The only test should be:


    1. In the line of duty (i.e., not in a "deserter" status; leave or liberty is ok)

    2. No during the commission of a felony - which commission of a felony was the direct and proximate cause of the death or injury.

      And please don't give me the Berkeley Hills neo-left crap about "The war was illegal - therefore they were committing a felony"

      You punish the leadership - not the last grunt in the last rank!!


We take them away from hearth, home, family - kill them or maim them -- we pay. Period.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. I should have known there'd be a catch. Repugs *always* include one. (nt)
Edited on Tue Feb-01-05 07:56 PM by w4rma
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MSgt213 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. This also looks like a silence payment when it only applies to combat
deaths. Not that it is one but it could be perceived that way. It also does not seem to take care of those cases where someone is injured or becomes wounded but doesn't die until a considerable length of time out of the combat zone. Leaving the decision on what to pay to bean counters who will often times make mistakes.
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. "Just draft 'em...
then you won't owe them sh*t." -Rummy & Wolfowitz behind closed doors, January 28, 2005
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. This morning when I was reading it in the paper there were a few questions
I had...i.e. it said the "Armed Services" does this include National Guard and Reserves? it also said in "designated combat zones" now from what I've heard, Iraq is not considered a "designated combat zone" since * got on his boat and said Mission Accomplished. Well? I also believe the Repuges are inflating the amount of increase they are actually willing to give, to force the Democrats to fight it as being too much,then they'll bring it down,they can then say we don't support the troops....
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recovering democrat Donating Member (365 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. "too narrow" ain't even close!
Among the many things wrong with this bill and hopefully will be corrected - it is retroactive only to the date the US went into Afghanistan. It doesn't even apply to the military people at the Pentagon who died September 11, 2001.

Some other discussion can be found at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6891515 /

From that article: In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the current death payments for troops killed in battle has looked less generous compared to government settlements paid to Sept. 11 families. The government paid an average $2.1 million to the families of those killed in those attacks.

Back in December, Sen. George Allen (R-VA) issued a press release calling for this bill and "working with others" to get it done. He suggested going back to September 11, but I am sure will march in step with the other Republicans to limit it as much as possible. At least he had some positive thoughts at one point - he was quoted at that time as saying "George Washington said that the willingness of future generations to fight for their country no matter how just the cause will be proportional to how previous veterans are treated. I think it is important that we show a deeper appreciation for those heroic soldiers who died defending liberty and their brave families back home who have paid the ultimate sacrifice as well" Senator Allen might ought to work his mouth to say this to Bush and his administration, but he won't.
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