HR0105 LRB094 10640 CSA 40991 r


2     WHEREAS, All Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the brave
3 men and women who honorably serve in our nation's armed forces;
4 and
5     WHEREAS, The trials faced by our servicemen and women in
6 the field are shared by their families who endure for months or
7 years at a stretch the uncertainty of not knowing when, or if,
8 their loved ones will return; and
9     WHEREAS, The news to a family that their loved one has been
10 killed in service is, sadly, just the first terrible blow to
11 the survivors, for they often face long-term financial
12 struggles resulting from the loss of a wage-earning spouse or
13 family member; and
14     WHEREAS, Many surviving family members, veterans groups,
15 and legislators have long believed that the death payment
16 provided to service members' families, currently set at
17 $12,420, is woefully inadequate; and
18     WHEREAS, Properly taking care of service personnel and
19 their families will, over the long term, undoubtedly raise the
20 morale of our troops stationed all over the world by providing
21 them with the comfort of knowing their families will be taken
22 care of should they die while serving their country; and
23     WHEREAS, It is reported that President Bush will propose a
24 sizeable increase, to $100,000, of the death benefit payment as
25 part of the 2006 budget submitted to Congress; as part of this
26 proposal, the Pentagon would also increase life insurance
27 benefits from the current $250,000 of coverage to $400,000 and
28 troops in a combat zone would have the additional premiums paid
29 for by the government; the proposal would be retroactive to
30 October 7, 2001 and would apply to families of U.S. troops



HR0105 - 2 - LRB094 10640 CSA 40991 r

1 killed in war; and
2     WHEREAS, Even though no amount of money can replace a
3 spouse or loved one, an increase in the death payment and life
4 insurance benefits provided to the family members of those
5 servicemen and women who die while on active duty would help
6 alleviate the overwhelming impact their families face; and
7     WHEREAS, While the President's proposal is a much-needed
8 measure, the benefits for surviving families should not be
9 determined by mere geography of where death occurred, but
10 rather, benefits should be extended to all servicemen and women
11 who equally defend the freedom of this country in a profession
12 fraught with danger no matter where they are stationed;
13 therefore, be it
16 we hereby commend the President on his initiative to increase
17 the death payment and the life insurance benefit package to
18 assist families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice;
19 and be it further
20     RESOLVED, That we urge the President and the Congress to
21 broaden the President's budget proposal to provide the same
22 financial increases to all military personnel who die in the
23 line of duty while performing military service for our country,
24 whether here or on foreign soil; and be it further
25     RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
26 delivered to President Bush and the Illinois Congressional
27 Delegation as a sign of our commitment to this important issue.