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DeWine Works to Increase Benefits Paid to the Families of Military Members Killed on Duty

Location: Washington, DC


U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) today joined with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and other Senate leaders on military issues to unveil a legislative package that will benefit the families of service members who are killed while on active duty. Next week Senator Frist intends to introduce legislation that will assist in the fight on the war on terrorism. That bill will include military death benefits unveiled today by the senators.

"We have a moral obligation to provide some basic financial relief to the families who will never again see their loved one," said Senator DeWine. "If we can afford to go war we most certainly can afford to help these families of the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. I intend to stand on the United States Senate floor to make sure that this Congress does what is right for the families of our fallen military members."

Senator DeWine is committed to seeing that the families, and especially the children, of our service members are taken care of in the event of the death of the service member. Senator DeWine supports and advocates for an increase to the one-time tax-free death benefit paid to the family of each service member killed in action. Senator DeWine supports the increase to $100,000 from the current $12,000.

Senator DeWine also wrote a portion of the bill that would allow these children to continue to receive medical benefits through the military's healthcare plan: TRICARE Prime. Currently the children of service members killed in action are eligible to continue to receive the military's TRICARE healthcare benefit for three year. There after, surviving children can continue to receive the benefit at the rate charged to retired military members. Under Senator DeWine's plan, children would be eligible for the full benefit until they turn 21, or until 23 if they are in school.

More than 50 percent of America's men and women in uniform are married and about 50 percent of those families also have dependent children. As of December 2004, there are 11,083 children on the dependency and indemnity rolls for the Gulf War Period beginning in 1991 and including Iraq and Afghanistan.

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