An Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Specialist Israel Candelaria Mejias at Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 7. Specialist Candelaria Mejias died April 5 near Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when a mine detonated near him during combat ope
This is ... difficult to contemplate:
On Saturday, a U.S. Marine was killed in Helmand province. On Sunday, four troops were killed by an IED in southern Afghanistan. Until the shutdown ends, none of their families can expect to receive the “death gratuity” of $100,000 promised to immediately reach them within 24 to 36 hours. Grieving families also cannot expect the military to cover all the usual costs of family travel to meet their loved ones returning home for burial in American flag-draped coffins through Dover Air Force Base. And if the shutdown continues into November, monthly survivor benefits are in jeopardy because the Department of Veterans Affairs has warned it will be out of cash to pay them.
The money will be there eventually, but in the early days of shock and grief, these families will have to worry about how to get by with a paycheck that's ended abruptly, funeral expenses, and now, thanks to House Speaker John Boehner refusing to hold a vote on a clean continuing resolution, a government shutdown that looks likely to stretch on. There are so many cruelties to the shutdown; sending people to be killed and then leaving their survivors struggling to get by is a terrible one.

Join Daily Kos and Democracy for America by telling House Republicans: Sign the discharge petition and end this shutdown now.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 08:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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