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Nonprofit Group Offers To Pay Death Benefits During Government Shutdown

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Collins, Jr. at Dover Air Base on October 7, 2013.

The nonprofit military group called Fisher House Foundation has offered to pay death benefits to the family members of service members who die during the government shutdown. The Department of Defense is unable to pay the so-called "death gratuity" until the government is back up and running again.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) made the announcement of the advance grant after working with Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher House Foundation, to come up with a way to help the families of the fallen.

Fisher said of his foundation's generosity:

“After losing a loved one in service to our nation, these families should not have to endure more pain as the result of political squabbling. For the last 20 years, Fisher House has been there to support our military families in their time of greatest need. We are now stepping up to honor the sacrifices that have been made, and to repay a debt that is truly unpayable.”

As Home Post reported Tuesday, the $100,000 death gratuity the Department of Defense provides families within days of a service member's death is not covered under the Pay Our Military Act.

Most military families know Fisher House Foundation for the "comfort homes" built for loved ones of injured service members as they recuperate at military hospitals and VA medical centers.

To read Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's statement on the Fisher House Foundation grant, click here.

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