Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pryor wins death benefit for Arkansas soldier

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Sen. Mark Pryor issues a statement on the Army's decision to provide a $100,000 death benefit and funeral expenses for the family of an Arkansas soldier, Capt. Samson Luke, who died at his home during National Guard service at Fort Chaffee. The Army had resisted payment because Luke was not on base when he died in 2010 of a heart condition.

Pryor legislation will prevent similar denials in the future. On the strength of that legislation, which didn't apply retroactively, a Luke family appeal of the earlier denial was granted.

PRYOR STATEMENT

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today said it took perseverance and an act of Congress, but the Luke family will finally receive the death benefits to which they are entitled following the death of Captain Samson Luke nearly two years ago.

Pryor received verbal notification from the Secretary of the Army’s office that the Luke family’s appeal to the Army Board of Corrections for Military Records (ABCMR) has been granted. After the papers are processed, Miranda Luke and her four young children will receive death gratuity payment and burial expense reimbursement.

Her husband, Captain Samson Luke deployed for combat in Iraq twice and continued to serve as an Arkansas Army National Guardsman. During a required training weekend at Fort Chaffee, Luke was authorized to spend Saturday night with his family at home, twelve miles away from base, and return to the training site the next morning. He passed away that evening, January 10, 2010 from a heart condition. The Army determined that because Captain Luke passed away at home, not on base or at a local hotel, the family would not be eligible for the $100,000 death gratuity or funeral expense benefits they would otherwise receive.

“The Secretary of the Army is a busy man. I appreciate his time and effort to right this wrong and make sure our military families receive the benefits they are entitled,” Pryor said. “Likewise, it’s been an honor to team up with Miranda and ensure families facing similar situations are taken care of financially.”

Pryor inserted the “Luke provision” in a broad defense bill, which clearly states that a reservist’s family is entitled to death benefits should the service member die during an authorized stay at their home during inactive duty training. The legislation, awaiting the President’s signature, was not retroactive but helped pave the way for the appeal board’s positive result.

“This is a tough time of the year for many military spouses and families,” Pryor said. “I hope we can all do a little extra to brighten their holidays.”

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Arkansas Tech settles dispute with lawmakers riled by 'Sex on the Lawn'

    Legislators have dropped an effort to kill the Department of Diversity and Inclusion at Arkansas Tech in a dispute that arose over a student sex education program.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • Another bill to stock the prisons

    The Senate today voted 20-9 to pass Sen. Bryan King's bill that says a fourth commitment to the Arkansas Department of Correction means the person sentenced must serve at least 80 percent of the sentence before parole eligibility.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation