Because of the federal government shutdown, a private charity had to step up and offer to pay the death benefits promised to families of Americans killed in service to their country.
To have allowed political wrangling to threaten support for the grieving families of those the nation sent into mortal danger is shameful.
Twenty-nine active-duty military men and women have died since Washington’s political dysfunction closed parts of the government on Oct. 1. That toll includes four soldiers killed in combat whose flag-draped coffins arrived at Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday.
The survivor benefit to their families, for burial and other expenses, typically includes a $100,000 payment within days.
The Fisher House Foundation made its generous offer, and Congress finally acted. The House and Senate passed a bill to restore the assistance, sending it to the White House. As has become typical, fingers of blame were being pointed.
Thanks are most certainly owed to the Fisher House, which works with veterans and their families, for its willingness to step up and do what the government wasn’t. The charity’s CEO, Ken Fisher, told Fox News that the failure was “a national disgrace, there’s no other way to put it.”
These Americans made the ultimate sacrifice. There should be no way to hang a “closed” sign over the profound debt their country owes them.