Andrea Mitchell and Matthew DeLuca, NBC News: Pentagon warned of cuts to military death benefits days before shutdown

by workforceplanner

When I posted Laurence Shatkin’s excellent piece on veterans’ career paths on Tuesday, October 8th, I refrained from commenting on that day’s disturbing real-time story…

NBC ran this headline for Andrea Mitchell’s report “Military death benefit suspension hurts families”:

By Wednesday the 9th, The Fisher House Foundation had become involved… 

People who had not heard of The Fisher House Foundation before this news of the Department of Defense entering into an agreement with them, may admire Fisher House for their activism in this matter, but if they are be surprised by such activism on the Fishers part, they should know how the Fishers have stepped up before. Ken Fisher said this during a 2010 interview:

> to supplement what the military calls—I hate this phrase—the “death benefit.” For years and years, it was ridiculously low. When Zachary started the program, I think the death benefit was $6,000—taxable. What Zach did—and, later on, my father and my late cousin, Tony Fisher—was supplement that benefit. Between 2000 and 2005, it gave out over $20 million, $11,000 to each surviving spouse and $5,000 to each dependent child. It wasn’t until 2005 that the government finally got wind of the fact that we weren’t doing right by these families. Then Congress upped the benefit a great deal.

> After that happened, it was decided to move in a new direction. Tony had passed away in 2003, and my father, Arnold Fisher, became the honorary chairman. He worked with Richard Santulli [NetJets founder and chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund] through the process of gearing it more toward rehabilitating combat-wounded military personnel.

Here’s the full interview: