Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Unfair to Widowed Military Spouses

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Unfair to Widowed Military Spouses

I have recently become aware of an extremely heartbreaking situation that is happening to our nation's widowed military spouses. These widowed families have had their spouses give the ultimate price to this nation: their lives. Dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one who has perished in the line of duty or while in service to this country is difficult enough; it is the aftermath and lack of common-sense rules that astonish me and break my heart.

I'm talking about a spouse retaining all benefits as a single widower until the age of 57, when only after that milestone birthday can they marry and retain all benefits of their deceased military spouse. This is atrocious and I'll tell you why: those who perish in the line of duty are young and leave behind young spouses and young children. Why should a draconian regulation require a widowed spouse to put their life on hold to retain benefits earned and paid for with a life? Furthermore, should a spouse have the second chance at rounding out their family and decline the benefits, their children now owe taxes on benefits received.

I do not believe this is what our active duty service members and veterans would agree is sound, nor what they put their lives on the line to defend.

Heather Batson