I’ve republished my exact comments – along with the call from a military wife – in the audio link below. My point: “If you lost a family member in the September 11th attack, you’re going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000 all the way up to $4.7 million. If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit – half of which is taxable. Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry, and there’s a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. But when the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt.”I pointed out that no one remarks on this point, because it sounds like you’re criticizing the victims of 9/11. A military man called on Thursday (also below) and demonstrated another reason why no one thinks about just what our military families get: they don’t complain. They say they’re doing fine, and ask for little. They remind me that they also get life insurance. Back in March of last year, we were hearing from victims of Oklahoma City and the African embassy bombings asking for similar compensation.
This is where the e-mail being circulated under my name diverges from the truth. The author swerves into talking about the military pay raise and Congress. The item on congressional pension is actually a separate Urban Legend, as covered by the good folks at Snopes.com. They also cover my accurate statements and the inaccurate coda attached. The basic facts of this e-mail do come from my March 11, 2002 program, and the original information came from USA Today.
Everybody is acting like they’ve never heard of this before, but this is not hard to find. I didn’t go through this to cause grief with people who added their own editorial comments to what I said. Rather I want to basically to substantiate the fact that I stand by my comments in support of our people in uniform. I think it’s amazing that the families of our 125 soldiers killed in Iraq will get $6,000 (taxable), $1,750 for burial costs – and spouses will get $833 a month. There is a major disparity compared with the 9/11 victims. We must remember all of our heroes and casualties in the war on terrorism, folks.