Death benefits restored for family of fallen Marine

CREATED Oct. 9, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 9, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - The U.S. government may be shutdown, but some people are taking the situation into their own hands. One example is a non-profit, hoping to raise money for families who have been denied death benefits.  

Marine Lance Corporal Jeremiah Collins, from Milwaukee, died over the weekend in Afghanistan.  People all over the U.S. are upset by the face that the Collins family, and four other families, have not received the emergency death benefit that they would normally get.  It's $100,000 to cover the costs of the funeral, travel and other immediate costs. But now, the Fisher House is helping to fix the problem.

"Let's take into consideration what these families are going through and let's find a way to get behind this," said Dan Buttery with the Wisconsin chapter of the Fisher House.  The Fisher House will provide the benefit to these five families and then get reimbursed by the government once the shutdown is over.  They plan to do so with donations from the public.
 
"We're doing the right thing uh, in resolving this because again, these families aren't dealing with weeks from now, they're dealing with the immediate, and we're talking hours and not days of what we need to do to resolve this problem," said Buttery.
 
On Wednesday, the House fast-tracked a bill, approving the benefit, but it still needs Senate approval.
 
Congresswoman Gwen Moore says because of the shutdown, the government is using a piece meal strategy as things like this come up.
 
"This is a terrible strategy, it's causing a lot of pain and grief for our constituents and it's quite frankly very, very infuriating and embarrassing,"  said Moore.
 
Senator Ron Johnson issued a statement this afternoon, saying it's just common sense that the emergency benefits should not be interrupted.