Saturday, July 02, 2005

Long overdue 
The maximum coverage available under the Serviceman's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program has just been increased from $250,000 to $400,000.

The increase is long overdue - not because of inflation, so much, but because in today's era of low interest rates and reduced expected returns on equities, $250,000 would simply be insufficient to replace a soldier's lost income and provide for a surviving spouse and children - especially when you factor in the increased need for day care, etc.

The death gratuity itself is increased from 12,500 - enough to take care of a modest funeral, but not much more - to $100,000. Which is welcome news. It's not going to be enough money to bankrupt the war effort. But it will mean a great deal to those who have lost loved ones.

Interestingly, the increase is retroactive to October 7th, 2001, and not to September 11th, 2001. Which means that families of those killed in the Pentagon, and any reservists or guardsmen abord the planes or killed in the WTC would be excluded.

I wonder if those killed at Pearl Harbor were also excluded, because that, too, was a defensive action, prior to the U.S. declaring war. It's as if the WWII gratuity was only authorized from Guadalcanal forward.

It's an odd thing to do, when the Bush Administration is making the rhetorical argument that Iraq is part of the War on Terror, and that the War on Terror started on September 11th, 2001.

Splash, out


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