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Insensitive Or Monumentally Stupid?

#1
As folks are aware, Canadian troops have been involved in ops in Afghanistan for some time. Sadly, we have suffered a number of KIA (55 at the time of writing).

Our Defence Minister, the Honourable Gordon O'Connor has said that the Canadian Forces pays for all funeral expenses for our fallen soldiers. This simply isn't true and he has now been publicly contradicted by the families of these men and women. Our Queen's Regulations And Orders For The Canadian Forces (QR&O) Article 210.21 clearly states that re-imbursement for expenses is limited to $4100.00 CAD (about $3500.00 USD or 1800.00 GBP). This amount includes the casket.

Now, maybe Minister O'Connor meant for the full costs to be re-imbursed. However, in my humble opinion, the spectacle of a politician getting into a public p*ssing contest with the families of dead soldiers over funeral expenses cannot end well for the politician in question.

More can be found on this topic at: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...0530/dnd_costs_070530/20070530?hub=TopStories

How are other countries dealing with the costs of funerals for their dead? I am of the impression that in the US the whole thing is covered. What about the UK, Australia, etc?
 
#3
The "Death Gratuity" in the US is $100,000, which is delivered pretty much with the body. It's supposed to cover not just the funeral expenses, but also to help the next of kin during re-adjustment to their new lives without their soldier.

Most every soldier is enrolled to the maximum SGLI coverage as well, which gives an additional $400,000 to the family a little later on.

Plus whatever personal life insurance you may happen to have.

NTM
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
What an absolute disgrace!

The politician in question should resign or be sacked and the disgusting state of affairs needs to be rectified immediately.
 
#7
DesktopCommando said:
Nope sorry to above, soldiers who use 1 days pay scheme get £10k for their families, but We have to subscribe to it.
Commando,

You are right that we have to subscribe to it. But I think that is £5 pa for the Army Dependant's Trust - paid in Jan each year. But I will check later.

It is unbelievably good value but has nothing to do with the MOD, IIRC. It is a charity.

If you are a serving officer/soldier and don't pay it; you are daft!

Litotes
 
#9
Sad to hear that similar situations seem to exist. All other "benefits" aside, to me it seems only sensible that a soldier should be buried at the expense of the country that sent him or her off to war. These families aren't asking for outrageous items, simply a dignified funeral for their loved ones.

Sadly, our Minister doesn't seem to understand that he lacks the authority to authorize full payments of the funerals. Treasury Board controls the purse strings and sets the rates quoted in QR&O. These rates certainly need to be updated and amended. But under no circumstances, in my opinion, should the Minister have told the families that they had been fully re-imbursed when he knew very well (or should have known) that such was not the case.

I forecast a "cabinet shuffle" in the next few weeks or months, and I anticipate that the Honourable Member will find himself as Minister of something more suited to his talents. Say, Fisheries And Oceans so he can figure out how his political career got deep-sixed.
 
#10
California_Tanker said:
The "Death Gratuity" in the US is $100,000, which is delivered pretty much with the body. It's supposed to cover not just the funeral expenses, but also to help the next of kin during re-adjustment to their new lives without their soldier.
Most every soldier is enrolled to the maximum SGLI coverage as well, which gives an additional $400,000 to the family a little later on.
Plus whatever personal life insurance you may happen to have.
NTM
So ... US gives $500,000, one way or another.
UK gives $6000 at current exchange rates + $20K if you subscribe [rightly] to Army Dependant's Trust = $26K.

Against $500K in the US? The price of a soldier in UK $26K max ? ... how terrible.

A clear indication of how the US values its military personnel more than the UK ...
 
#11
With every thing else that's happening, to the men and women fighting for their countries, this is ridiculous.
The minimum the relevant governments should do, is cover ALL funeral expenses.
 

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