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What is the price of a soldier's life? $12,420.

Uncle Sam gives the family $12,420. Even worse, the life insurance benefit maximum offered is only $250K, which those in the military pay $20/month for. How f*cking ungrateful is this Pentagon? Senators are looking at ways to address this shameful treatment of the military family. (WTimes):

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, are sponsoring a bill to increase the instant death gratuity payment for troops killed in combat zones from $12,420 to $100,000. The bill also calls for raising the payout from the Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) to $400,000 from the current $250,000.

Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen has a proposal of his own simply to raise the death gratuity to $100,000, and several other senators have said they are interested in other bills to help families of troops killed while serving. The Sessions-Lieberman bill will be introduced when Congress reconvenes after the presidential inauguration.

…Right now, any member of the active duty, National Guard or Reserve forces who dies in combat receives a lump-sum payment of $12,420, available within two or three days, that can help cover immediate expenses. That dollar figure was raised from $6,000 in the last defense-authorization bill.

Many members of the armed services pay $20 a month for life insurance coverage of $250,000. The Sessions-Lieberman bill would boost that maximum coverage to $400,000 and have the government pay for the first $150,000 of coverage for troops in a combat zone.

D. Michael Duggan, deputy director for national security and foreign relations for the American Legion, said they support the increases, particularly in the lump-sum benefit.

“A lot of families are finding out $12,000 is not enough, but how much more? ” he said. “The cost of a funeral is higher, plus other unpaid bills which the family — i.e., widows, grieving widows — have to pay up. How are they going to pay the immediate rent? How are they going to pay groceries? They need that money right away, in a lump sum.”

Here’s a little reminder of what the government has seen fit to spend taxpayers’ dollars on in this war.

* Halliburton Iraq Contracts Pass $10 Billion Mark

* Contrack International had $325m contract before it blew out of town for security concerns;

* now has won a $63.9 million US Army building deal in Afghanistan

* Bechtel contract for reconstruction projects — $1.03 billion.

* An estimated $2 billion goes into paying for security and insurance costs.

* The United States has spent $2.6 billion to purchase 50 troubled planes which do not meet the Air Force’s requirements.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding