Fisher House helping military families shutout by gov't shutdown

Foundation paying death gratuities to families of service members killed in combat

Grieving military families feeling the sting of the government shutdown will get help from a group that has been providing help to wounded warriors for more than two decades.

The Fisher House Foundation has said it will offer families of service members killed in combat death gratuities until the government can make reimbursements. The group will also pay for flights, hotels and other expenses for family members.

The Defense Department said it does not have the authority to make the payments, typically $100,000 sent within three days to survivors to cover costs like funeral expenses.

"After losing a loved one in service to our nation, these families should not have to endure more pain as the result of political squabbling," said Ken Fisher, Chairman and C.E.O. of Fisher House Foundation. "For the last 20 years, Fisher House has been there to support our military families in their time of greatest need. We are now stepping up to honor the sacrifices that have been made and to repay a debt that is truly unpayable."

There are 61 Fisher Houses in the world. Six of them are located in San Antonio. The House could take up a bill restoring funding for this purpose on Wednesday.

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