RAISING THE MILITARY DEATH BENEFIT -- (House of Representatives - February 01, 2005)
(Mrs. BLACKBURN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, it is impossible to declare these elections in Iraq anything but a success, and we Americans join the Iraqis in their celebration, and rightly so.
I have been in e-mail contact with some of the Iraqis that I have met during my visit there, and I heard from some of our men and women in uniform, and they are proud of what they have achieved, and they are ready to keep working hard.
But, Mr. Speaker, no discussion of the election success is complete without recognizing the active duty, Reserve, and National Guard men and women who have given their lives in this war on terror in the Middle East. It is their sacrifice that is putting terrorism on the run. We cannot forget them, and we must not forget their families.
That is why the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Wilson) and I have introduced the Blackburn-Wilson Honoring Our Families and Fallen Soldiers Act today. We are joining Senator Allen in this effort. I ask my colleagues to cosponsor the legislation to increase to $100,000 the death gratuity benefit the family of a soldier killed in combat receives. Our bill would also make this benefit retroactive to October 1, 2001.
Mr. Speaker, it is the right thing to do.