As if all the scandals surrounding the governments use and treatment of our military these days isn’t enough, it now appears that the giant insurance companies that were charged with dispensing death benefits for our fallen war heroes are actually scamming the beneficiaries out of the money!
In nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, 5,620 Americans have died. Survivors of these fallen heroes are entitled to a life-insurance payment and the government uses a private company to handle it. What happened to the mother of 24-year-old Ryan Baumann of Great Mills, Maryland when she tried to collect serves as a lesson to every military family.
In her report for the CBS Evening News, Anchor Katie Couric recounts her interview with Sgt. Baumann’s mother, Cindy Lohman:
It was hard to accept life without her son, until a casualty assistance officer asked her to choose how she would like to receive his death benefits.
Lohman said, “I handed the paperwork back to the poor CAO and said ‘I don’t want it.’ And he was very patient and explained that it wasn’t an option and that really I had to accept it and had to decide what to do.”
She eventually filed, electing to receive a lump sum of $400,000. But the check never came. Instead, she received a check book and a packet from Prudential saying the money had been placed in its “alliance account” where it was “available immediately” and would “begin earning interest” right away.
Everything seemed fine, until she tried using the checks.
“I was told that the check could not be verified,” she said.
The report goes on to say how the insurance company was even keeping the lion’s share (over 80%) of the interest being accrued on the account. Not that it matters, I guess, since Ms. Lohman hadn’t actually received any money anyway.
How high does the heap of shame have to get before something is actually done to address the public policy nonsense that only serves to undercut and demean our nation’s standing on the world stage? I know that those who would see us fall don’t deserve the credit for pitting us against ourselves in the first place, but we’d be foolish to assume they don’t know how to take advantage of it!
Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms
A special shout out of thanks to my friend poch, of Plato on-line, for suggesting that I make use of this very moving song! 😀
I want ice water.