Pentagon Announces Change in Travel Policy for Family of Fallen Non-Combat Servicemembers Amid Congressional Pressure
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R—Ill.) today released this statement after the Department of Defense (DoD) announced it has changed its policy to automatically arrange and cover the travel costs for families of servicemembers killed in non-combat operations to meet the casket at Dover Air Force Base.
“I’m glad the Pentagon has made this change so we can immediately eliminate some of the bureaucratic red tape for families who have just lost a loved one serving our country overseas. To ensure other families won't have to jump through the same hoops the Palmer family had to, my provision in the NDAA makes this change permanent. I hope the Senate takes up this bill soon. I will continue to work to hold the DoD more accountable to servicemembers of all ranks and improve communication with our servicemembers and their families."
Department of Defense policy had previously been that transportation to Dover Air Force Base would only be arranged and covered by the government if the servicemember died in a combat operation. Families of servicemembers who died in non-combat operations could have their costs covered, but only if a waiver was obtained first.
Davis has been working with the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to get this policy changed after the family of Petty Officer Logan Palmer, who was killed in the USS John S. McCain accident in Singapore, received outside funding to attend his arrival at Dover.
Davis explained the need for this policy change and why it is important to military families in an op-ed in the Herald and Review. Click here to read the full article.
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