The Pentagon announced Wednesday it will provide family members of fallen service members with the full benefits they have been promised, including a $100,000 death gratuity despite a partial government shutdown that had halted such benefits.
Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit that helps families of wounded service members who need housing and other resources, will help pay for the benefits, which the Defense Department will reimburse after the government shutdown has ended.
“I am offended, outraged, and embarrassed that the government shutdown had prevented the Department of Defense from fulfilling this most sacred responsibility in a timely manner,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
The Fisher House Foundation had approached the Pentagon in the last 24 hours, and offered to make payments from its own funds, Mr. Hagel said.
“Along with the rest of the Department’s leaders, I will continue to work every day to address the very real impact that the government shutdown is having on our people, and I once again call on Congress to fulfill its basic responsibilities and restore funding for the federal government,” he said.