Non-Profit to Fund Military Death Benefits: White House

A non-profit foundation's offer to pay death benefits to the families of fallen soldiers will solve the problem of military families being denied the customary $100,000 as a result of the government shutdown, the White House said Wednesday. A senior White House official told NBC News that President Barack Obama will sign off on that fix — whereby Fisher House will cover the death benefit for the Pentagon until the shutdown ends — hours after the House unanimously passed a bill that would assure that families of fallen soldiers are given the "death gratuity." That vote had come hours after the families of four U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan last weekend watched the flag-draped caskets of their loved ones returned to American soil. Matt Peters, the brother of slain Army special agent Joseph Peters, said before he and his mother received the casket, though, that nothing mattered except the family's grief. Those killed Sunday also included: Pfc. Cody Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore.; 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, 25, of San Diego; and Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa.

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