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Charity Steps Up to Help Family of Fallen Mo. Soldier

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KMOX) – The family of a Missouri solider who died in Afghanistan last weekend is getting help from a non-profit to pay funeral expenses during the government shutdown. The Defense Department typically pays families about $100,000 within three days of a service member’s death, but officials say the shutdown has prevented those benefits from being given out.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement late Wednesday, that the Fisher House Foundation, associated with the VA, will step in.

“The Fisher House Foundation will provide the families of the fallen with the benefits they so richly deserve,” Hagel said, adding that the Pentagon would reimburse the foundation after the shutdown ended.

The family of Special Agent Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo. and three other soldiers who died Sunday will receive financial support.

Peters leaves behind a wife and 20-month-old son.

The Republican-led House unanimously passed legislation Wednesday to restore the death benefits. But it’s unclear whether the Democratic-led Senate will take up the measure or whether Obama would sign it.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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