Dead Marine's Facebook Page Shows Frustration With Shutdown

Image: Dead Marine's Facebook Page Shows Frustration With Shutdown

Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 03:25 PM

By Andrea Billups

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The Facebook posts of Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Collins, who died in Afghanistan Oct. 5, offer sad evidence of the federal government shutdown's effect on members of the military serving in danger spots abroad.

The Marine's outrage and letdown before his death "while supporting combat operations" casts a dishonorable shadow on the rancor in Washington that is affecting service families who have been denied death benefits, deepening their pain, NBC News reported.

"I am waiting for the moment they breach my contract. Just waiting," the 19-year-old from Milwaukee wrote. "I am out here in Afghan so I can’t just leave.

"Get it together Obama and not to mention Congress,” Collins continued in his angry, expletive-laden post, as lawmakers waged political battle in Washington.

Collins' social media outrage was first chronicled by The Daily Beast, which took note of the shutdown's impact on military death gratuities, which typically include a $100,000 payment to families along with funeral and burial expenses.

“Jesus! Make up your minds, I will protect the being of my country with my life, but do not go ****ing with the men and women that protect your sorry asses,” Collins typed from his post in Helmand province.

It was not the first time Collins had registered disapproval, taking note that his own government was letting him down while he was out risking his life.

“Nobody tries anymore,” he wrote on Sept. 18. “What happened to effort and dedication?”

Earlier this week, the Fisher House charity stepped up to say it would honor death benefits for soldiers, 26 of whom have died since the government shutdown began. It builds homes for military families while their loved ones are being treated at medical facilities.

"We stepped in because these families had suffered enough," Fisher House CEO Ken Fisher told Fox News on Tuesday.

Fisher called the government's mistreatment of servicemen and women “a national disgrace. There’s no other way to put it…these are America’s families."

The mother of Collins, the dead Marine, told NBC that grieving military families did not deserve the added stress.

“Families shouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to bury their child,” Shannon Collins said. “Families shouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to feed their family if they don’t go to work this week.”

The Obama administration on Wednesday, reacting to the mounting outcry, promised to rectify the situation, telling reporters that a fix to the problem was coming soon, Reuters reported.

While a law passed before the shutdown allowed the military to be paid, it did not provide for death benefits for the families of the fallen.

Related stories:

Rumsfeld: Denial of Benefits to Fallen Soldiers' Families 'Inexcusable'
Two U.S. Generals Fired for Failing to Stave Off Afghan Attack

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