Costs of U.S. wars linger for more than 100 years

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Surviving spouses can qualify for lifetime benefits when troops from current wars have a service-linked death. Children under the age of 18 also can qualify, and those benefits are extended for a lifetime if the person is permanently incapable of self-support becasue of a disability before the age of 18.

Citing privacy, officials did not disclose the names of the two children getting the Civil War benefits.

Their ages suggest the one in Tennessee was born around 1920 and the North Carolina survivor was born around 1930. A veteran who was young during the Civil War would likely have been roughly 70 or 80 years old when the two people were born.

That’s not unheard of. At age 86, Juanita Tudor Lowrey is the daughter of a Civil War veteran. Her father, Hugh Tudor, fought in the Union army. After his first wife died, Tudor was 73 when he remarried her 33-year-old mother in 1920. Lowrey was born in 1926.

Ms. Lowrey, who lives in Kearney, Mo., suspects the marriage might have been one of convenience, with her father looking for a housekeeper and her mother looking for some security. He died a couple years after she was born, and Ms. Lowrey received pension benefits until she was 18.

Now, Ms. Lowrey said, she usually gets skepticism from people after she tells them she’s a daughter of a Civil War veteran.

“We’re few and far between,” she said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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