The Department of Defense provides a one-time lump sum Death Gratuity of $100,000 to the primary next of kin of a Service member who dies while on active duty. Its purpose is to help the survivors in their readjustment and to aid them in meeting immediate expenses incurred. The gratuity is paid by the last military command of the deceased.
The return home from combat can often leave servicemembers feeling out of place with the most important people in their lives - their families.
"In deployment, Soldiers grow accustomed to a new lifestyle and a new 'family' - those buddies that bond together to defend each other," said Maj. Ken Williams, 14th Military Police Brigade chaplain. "This lifestyle change is prolonged and becomes familiar, i.e., the new normal."
The families also change while the Soldier is deployed.
"The family is a system," Williams said. "When one family member is absent, the whole system changes. All members of the family adapt to a new 'normal' way of life."
When the servicemember returns, the family may feel uncomfortable with each other, and the servicemember may withdraw from the family.