Widows at Ft Hood Give Bush an earfulSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Widows at Ft Hood Give Bush an earful

14 April 2005 at 12:00:00 AM

Somehow the following was not part of the information given out by Bush describing his meeting with survivors on Tuesday.

Behind closed doors at the Ft. Hood army base on Tuesday, President Bush got an earful from some Iraq-war widows, who told him that the way the government is treating them is disgraceful.

"I just told him it was very wrong," one of the widows, Linnie Blankenbecler, 47, told me yesterday. "I was not intimidated by the president. My hardest reality was the death of my husband."


Blankenbecler is most upset about two things.

One is the rule that widows call the SBP-DIC offset, which actually takes away a dollar from one benefit for every dollar they get in the other.

"It's disgusting," Blankenbecler said.

The second is a provision in a bill Bush signed in December 2003 that added an extra $250 per dependent child to the DIC payment. But widows whose husbands died before the effective date -- Jan. 1, 2005 -- saw little or nothing of that benefit.

Blankenbecler said that's grossly unfair.

I told him I was very disappointed that he would sign something like that," she said. "I know that he doesn't understand everything that he signs, completely. So he asked one of his aides if he knew which bill I was talking about, and he told the guy to check into that.

"And he said he was sorry that I was disappointed, and that there's so many bills out there. I just got the impression that he didn't know which one I was talking about, and he probably didn't realize what he had done

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