Tester measure helps grieving families

Senator wants military to pay for memorial service transportation costs

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester wants the
U.S. military to pay for the
transportation costs when immediate family members attend the memorial services
of troops killed on active duty.

Currently the military only pays for transportation
costs for relatives who attend burial services.

In many cases immediate relatives cannot afford to
attend all services following an active-duty death.  So today, Tester introduced
an amendment to the Defense Authorization
that directs the military to pick up basic travel costs when
spouses, unmarried children, and parents of fallen troops attend memorial

“When service members die in service to our country,
it’s the government’s moral obligation to help their families in every way
possible,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Tester’s amendment requires the military to pay for
travel costs for immediate relatives to one memorial service in addition to a
burial service.  Oftentimes memorial services are organized by relatives,
friends and fellow troops—and help grieving families cope with

Some charity groups help families of fallen soldiers,
Marines, airmen and sailors attend memorial

Tester wrote his amendment after recently working with a
charity to provide transportation costs for a grieving father from Montana to travel to a memorial service for his son, a
soldier who died from wounds suffered in Iraq.

“No American should have to struggle with something as
important as attending a memorial service after losing a loved one,” Tester