Military mom outraged over military benefit blunder


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. - Dena Bryant says what she remembers most about her son, was his huge smile. She doesn't remember worrying about how to pay for his funeral when he was killed in the line of duty.

Joey Dunigan died in 2004 while serving in Iraq. Bryant said at the time, his wife received the death benefits from the Department of Defense. As a stay-at-home mom, the money helped her make it through.

"Without that she would have to try to rely in other sources," Bryant said, which is why she's so angry that 26 families did have to worry. Benefits were stopped during the shutdown until the Fischer Foundation stepped up Wednesday to front the money until the government starts running again. While thankful, Bryant isn't forgiving.

"Nobody should have to step up and cover what the government should have taken care of," she said.

She added that politicians are worried about winning the stalemate.  At the same time, it's the American people who are losing and military families shouldn't have to lose more than they already have.

"Their families deserve that because of the ultimate sacrifice."

The Department of Defense has agreed to pay back the foundation once the shutdown is over.