Heather Strickland 0

Minn. To Pay Bridge Victims

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I am writing today in regards to an article I read wrote by Martiga Lohn of the Associated Press. Article titled on Yahoo "Minn considers paying bridge victims". I feel extremely lament to those people injured, and those who lost a loved one during the August 1, collapsing of I-35W. Let me briefly introduce myself to whom it may concern. My name is Heather Strickland. I am 24 years old, and live in Lakeland, Georgia. My husband is a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force. He has served 11 years in service. He has been to Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The time is rapidly approaching and he will deploy again soon. This being his tenth deployment post September 11. I am quite frankly a very fortunate military spouse. For those less fortunate, their husband, wife, son, daughter, sister, brother, father, or mother never returned. Their lives lost at the indisposed ways of those we are at war with. These men and women like my husband, deploy to the middle east knowing they are in harms way. Knowing they might not return. They know they are defending our nation, and they do it with great pride. They face daily challenges of survival. While their families at home are apprehensively awaiting their soldier's fate. I am a very proud Military Spouse, and I believe the Air Force has been outstanding to us. When a service member dies, or is killed their immediate family is "compensated" for their loss. For active dute members who pass away, on average their family is alloted $450,000.00. This "compinsation" is left to the person, or people that the soldier deems their beneficiary or beneficiaries. The money is left to help with the cost of living without that service members pay check. I find it a bit appalling that sadly on the day of August 1, approxiamtely one hundred people lost their lives on the I-35W bridge. But to "compensate" their families with the suggested amount in the article is a bit repulsive. When we have our men and women of the armed services, choosing to risk their life to defend our country daily for a fraction of the proposed amount being alloted to the families of the perished bridge victims. I honestly feel that we are placing preference on the bridge victims. I feel that it is viewed that their casualty deserves to be rewarded above the men and women of the armed services. When in fact, most people believe no "compensation" will help ease the pain of the loss of a loved one. So, why propose that the family members of the bridge victims be alloted an excessive amount of money over what the Government is willing to pay the family members of deceased service members Sincerely, Heather Strickland

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