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Editorial: Congress is failing military families

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The federal government shutdown continues into its second week as Congress fails to act and fulfill its job. The latest fallout is impacting the military and veterans affairs benefits across the country.

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So while the U.S. Army’s Delta Force and the U.S. Navy Seal teams carried out strategic missions over the weekend targeting terrorist targets, they risked much more than normal.

Five military families of four soldiers and a Marine killed in Afghanistan since the shutdown are not receiving a $100,000 death payment or any unpaid pay due their loved military family member.

Other Pentagon responsibilities delayed during this shutdown:

* Travel reimbursement for family members to travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet the remains of deceased military members being returned home from war.

* Payment for the cost of memorial services and burial expenses.

* Travel reimbursement for family members of severely wounded military personnel to European- based hospitals.

* Public access has been curtailed at all 56 regional Veteran Affairs offices across the country.

Veterans and their families, especially those recently killed in war, have sacrificed for this country and are being abandoned in their time of need. With each passing day that this shutdown continues, more veterans are suffering the consequences.

Both sides in Congress are responsible for this standoff and should be ashamed.

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