Hagel Chooses NOT to Pay for Troop Funerals


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s decision not to pay benefits to the families of our fallen heroes this week, is despicable. Using our fallen heroes as a political football is a disgrace.

“It’s simply outrageous that the Hagel has decided not to pay the gratuity payments military families receive when a loved one dies in the line of duty. These payments not only help families during this difficult time but also cover travel and funeral costs when their loved ones are returned home.” said Debbie Lee, Gold Star Mom and MAF Spokeswoman.

“These families are facing the toughest days of their lives as they learned their loved one had been killed in action. Then to be informed our government won’t pay for them to meet the flag draped casket holding their loved one as they arrive at Dover Air Force Base is unbelievable. We may not have left these heroes on the battlefield but we are leaving their families behind here in America. Chuck Hagel should apologize for his faulty decision and authorize the death and burial benefits now.”

Move America Forward opposed Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense from the beginning because we feared political decisions just like this. We didn’t think he would stand up for our troops, and this is just further evidence that we were right.

Congress passed the “Pay Our Military Act” (POMA) on Oct 1st for this and other military pay issues, ensuring continuing appropriations in the event of a Government shutdown.

Chuck Hagel’s failed leadership and choice not to honor these benefits is shameful. Every hour it is delayed because of his bad interpretation of POMA is disrespectful to these fallen heroes and their families and is unacceptable.

Chuck Hagel could act right now but he won’t. Instead he is following our President’s lead trying to use our troops as political pawns to help the President’s political agenda. Our troops deserve better. Their families deserve better.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel telling him that the death gratuity payments should never have stopped and that the Pay Our Military Act “provides the authority to issue payment of death gratuity and other appropriate pay and allowances.”


You can choose to take care of one of our troops serving right now on the front lines of Afghanistan by taking part in our Answer the Call Campaign. Each box is sent with many items that the troops request and can use but most importantly, each care package includes a personal message from you!!!


Ronald Reagan “Candy Diplomacy” Jelly Beans:

One of our most requested items are these gourmet Jelly Beans used as a diplomatic tool for our troops or just as a snack. They are specifically flavored to appeal in the Middle East and each display the following message in English, Arabic, and Pashto, “A gift from the American people in hope that your country will one day enjoy the freedom and opportunities that we have in the United States.”


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