Pentagon, Congress Vow to Restore Military Death Benefit Despite Shutdown

And around the country, family members of U.S. soldiers are sharing their thoughts about the importance of the Pentagon's death gratuity and expressing their outrage that other families have not received the same benefit, which is supposed to be paid within three days of a soldiers' death, during the shutdown.

Bernice Koprince of Knoxville, Tenn., lost her son, Marine Lance Cpl. William Korpince Jr., 24, in Iraq seven years ago. "It's a day you never ever forget," she told ABC News affiliate WATE-TV.

The military's death benefit payments helped alleviate unanticipated financial stress at the time of his death, she said.

"You have these things that you have to take care of that you really never ever thought you'd have to take care of and now you've got this extra level of, 'My gosh, how am I supposed to pay for any of this?'" she said.

"I'm not sure where the government thinks they've [the families] got the funds sitting aside to give their soldier or Marine the funeral that they deserve," she said.

The shutdown has not interrupted other benefits paid to the families of dead military service members, including $400,000 life insurance payments; the Survivor Benefit Program, a monthly stipend based on the deceased's base duty pay that is paid by the Treasury out of a retirement fund; and the Special Survivors Indemnity Allowance, which is payable to the surviving spouse of active-duty service members whose survivor benefit is offset by Veterans Administration dependency and indemnity compensation.

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black, a retired rear admiral in the Navy, used his daily prayer Tuesday to address the issue.

"Lord, when our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of children dying on far-away battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say enough is enough," Black prayed.

"Cover our shame with the robe of your righteousness. Forgive us, reform us, and make us whole."

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