Columbia group raised $10K for family of soldier

Thursday, October 10, 2013 | 7:49 a.m. CDT; updated 9:22 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 10, 2013

COLUMBIA — The founder of a Columbia-based nonprofit says the group raised about $10,000 in an hour when it learned the government shutdown was affecting military death benefits for a Wisconsin soldier killed in Afghanistan.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reported that when the federal government is fully functioning, the family of a fallen soldier receives a $100,000 gratuity, payment of funeral expenses and transportation to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where bodies are returned. But because of the government shutdown those benefits weren't being provided.

The nonprofit, Marine Parents, said it raised $10,000 for the family of Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Collins Jr. after he died Saturday.

Tracy Della Vecchia, founder of Marine Parents, said the group will reach out to the families of fallen soldiers to see what help's needed.

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