Military Death Benefits, Separation Pay On Hold - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Military Death Benefits, Separation Pay On Hold

Posted: Updated:

The first full weekend of October was a deadly one in Afghanistan, but the families of the fallen won't get financial help from the Military until the budget battle ends.

Deployed troops are in the midst of fighting season overseas, but the financial gridlock in Washington has $100,000 death gratuity payments on hold.

"My children have nobody to depend on but me," says Army Specialist and single mother of five Holli Sroka.

She calls the death benefits a "safety blanket."

"God forbid if I lost my life, I would want to make sure that there is something there that's going to take care of them," Holli said.

The money is usually paid within 24 hours of death to help families get through the initial hardship of losing an income.

But during the shutdown, finance offices are only paying basic pay and allowances.

"We are driving on as far as our casualty operations, we're still continuing with the military funeral honors that we send out, we're still processing all the casualty cases, as normal," said Marlean Druce, Installation Adjutant General at Fort Hood.

The House of Representatives is drafting a bill to pay grieving families and expects to take it to a vote on Wednesday.

Separation Pay is also delayed by the shutdown.

Tuesday was Specialist John McKinnon's last day in the Army, but he won't get his separation check until Congress has a budget for it.

"And interviews and jobs I had back home in Massachusetts, I had to call and put that on hold," said John.

If he had that money, John and his wife would already be moving their large family.

"When it comes to traveling across the country, I have two kids, plus both my parents, my dependents, it costs a lot of money to move all my household goods," he said.

About 2,200 soldiers in-process and out-process at Fort Hood each month, many of them now in a holding pattern.

"We just kind of gotta stick it out here, hope for the best, luckily I have a little bit of reserved money," said John.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

Photographer: Chris Buford cbuford@kcentv.com

  • Parents Speak Out About The Arrest Of Former King High School Teacher

    Parents Speak Out About The Arrest Of Former King High School Teacher

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:18 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:18:18 GMT
    29-year old Tanya Ramirez, the former King High School teacher accused of having sex with a male student, turner herself into authorities Tuesday morning. She was booked and charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student, a felony charge.Ramirez was accused of having a relationship in the spring semester of this year. She was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into the allegations, and eventually terminated.More >>
    29-year old Tanya Ramirez, the former King High School teacher accused of having sex with a male student, turner herself into authorities Tuesday morning. She was booked and charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student, a felony charge.Ramirez was accused of having a relationship in the spring semester of this year. She was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into the allegations, and eventually terminated.More >>
  • Family Speaks Out Following Devastating House Fire

    Family Speaks Out Following Devastating House Fire

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:14:28 GMT
    A family of six in Alice is trying to see what they can salvage after they were forced out of their home by a fast moving fire early Tuesday morning.The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Newberry in Alice. The investigation into the cause of the fire points toward the home's air conditioning unit, where the fire may have began.The American Red Cross is assisting the family, who are currently staying with relatives. However, a benefit is in works for this weekend. 3News will...More >>
    A family of six in Alice is trying to see what they can salvage after they were forced out of their home by a fast moving fire early Tuesday morning.The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Newberry in Alice. The investigation into the cause of the fire points toward the home's air conditioning unit, where the fire may have began.The American Red Cross is assisting the family, who are currently staying with relatives. However, a benefit is in works for this weekend. 3News will...More >>
  • Special Report: How Portland Is Dealing With Crime

    Special Report: How Portland Is Dealing With Crime

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:10 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:10:57 GMT
    Portland, up until recently, had an unblemished reputation for being on the safest cities in Texas. But then came a couple of headline grabbing violent crimes that threatened to ruin that image. Our Mike Dasilva explores in a Special Report.More >>
    Portland, up until recently, had an unblemished reputation for being on the safest cities in Texas. But then came a couple of headline grabbing violent crimes that threatened to ruin that image. Our Mike Dasilva explores in a Special Report.More >>