Continued from page 1

“SGLI was created by Congress to provide special protection to military families. It was not created to enrich an insurance company that concocts a scheme to hold onto those families’ money while purporting to provide them access to it,” said VFW National Cmdr. John E. Hamilton, a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran.

Prudential has publicly stated that its actions were taken only in the interest of military families. Cmdr. Hamilton maintains that if that were true, Prudential should have no objection to the facts being made public.

Prudential has actively tried to seal documents about its conduct from the public record and has opposed efforts to unseal those records. That inconsistency strongly suggests that Prudential has not been forthcoming with Congress, the military or the American people,” he said.

Prudential has denied wrongdoing, but most of the records filed in the case have been sealed from the public at Prudential’s request. The VFW insists it is in the best interests of the families and the public to fully understand what Prudential has done in connection with its administration of federally subsidized life insurance programs for service members and veterans.

The VFW’s motion seeks to unseal the record filed with the court in connection with the plaintiffs’ efforts to obtain class certification and records filed in connection with motions pending.

Prudential argues that it cannot be required to return profits it made by using military family’s death benefits unless each family proves it would have used the money to make more interest than what Prudential paid out.

The VFW disagrees.

“If Prudential broke the law and made a profit, it should not be allowed to keep that profit,” Cmdr. Hamilton said.

• U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has introduced an amendment to help track school progress of students from military-connected families was adopted as part of a major Senate education overhaul.

The amendment passed in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s markup of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by a bipartisan vote of 13 to 9.

“We ask so much of our service members and their families, but we don’t have any programs in place to study the impact that life in a military family can have on child’s education.” said Ms. Murray, a Washington state Democrat. “This amendment allows us to take the first step in helping military-connected children succeed in school by learning more about what life events — from deployments of their parents to changing schools every few years — impact their success in the classroom.”

Currently, schools and educators do not have access to reliable, consistent data on the academic well-being of students from military families.

Without a military-connected student identifier, school districts cannot track these students’ performance, educators cannot as effectively prepare transitioning students for their new school, and there are no performance indicators for the local districts to discover practices and processes worthy of attention and replication to ensure success.

This amendment would create a report-only subgroup for military-connected students, generating precise data about their classroom success and the schools they attend. The amendment would help federal, state, and local entities eventually target resources for this vulnerable population, and it has broad support by organizations supporting military families across the country.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email