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This factual account written by Tommy Batboy is hard to read, especially because my own son is serving in the military.
Indiana’s Jackie Walorski co-sponsored a bill which was passed by congress so active duty soldiers are being paid; but, refusal by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Senate to even HOLD DISCUSSIONS with the U.S. House of Representatives, has caused unnecessary anguish to the family members of the four Army Rangers and a marine who died last Sunday night. THAT is unforgivable. As is what the Obama administration is doing to our WWII veterans who traveled long distances to see memorial tributes honoring their service. My father-in-law’s trip to Washington with Elkhart County’s VFW group was one of the proudest moments of his life.
To Jackie Walorski and her colleagues, thank you for working so hard to preserve benefits for military men and women and for our veterans. Hold fast, maintain your position and stand your ground.
These are historical times and I think, dangerous times. I feel the future of our nation and our freedom, for which many generations have made the ultimate sacrifice, depends upon the decisions our leaders make in these next upcoming weeks.
Courage, Ultimate Sacrifice and an Unpaid Debt
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 massacre.
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 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.
It 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. Yet, they are refusing to perform the most important responsibility of any leader. When things go horribly wrong: take care of the families of those we lose.
Inside the past 24 hours a mother had a man knock on her door and was 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 our Commander-in-Chief and his minions are doing is tell them “we’ll help you when we are done making excuses 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.