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Army Staff Sergeant Tracy Dice Lost Her Wife to War, and is Being Shut Out of Benefits Due to DOMA: VIDEO

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Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tracy Dice is mourning the loss of her wife, 29-year-old Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson, one of three soldiers killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on October 1.

Watch the Military Times interview with Dice, AFTER THE JUMP...

3_diceDice and Johnson are the first known same-sex married military couple to have suffered a casualty since the repeal of DADT,  according to the Military Times. Dice is being shut out of military benefits because of DOMA, the Military Times reports:

For example, the government pays travel costs of heterosexual spouses to Dover Air Force Base, Del., when fallen troops return to American soil.

Dice was not eligible for those allowances solely through her status as a same-sex widow. But the military did arrange to cover her travel expenses to Dover in the company of the Johnson family — though Dice is unsure how...

...Dice is also shut out of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, a Veterans Affairs Department program that pays $1,215 a month to heterosexual spouses of service members who die on active duty. She’s also left out of other notable benefits, such as the Survivor Benefit Plan and VA education benefits.

In the long term, she won’t receive Tricare health coverage as other widows do, although, as a National Guardsman, she is eligible for the premium-based Tricare Reserve Select program. She’ll continue to receive other benefits, such as commissary, exchange and other base privileges, by virtue of her own National Guard status.

Watch the Military Times interview with Dice, AFTER THE JUMP...

Read the full article HERE (behind paywall).

Freedom to Marry and Outserve-SLDN launched a joint campaign last year focused on highlighting how DOMA hurts gay military families.

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Comments

  1. A wholly unjustifiable cruelty that says so much about so many.

    My condolences to you, Sgt. Tracy Dice. And my sincere thanks for your service.

    You deserve to have fought for better.

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 8, 2013 3:24:56 PM


  2. Since same-sex marriages are not federally recognized, benefits cannot be paid. Unfortunately that's the way it is right now.

    However, things are moving quickly and time will tell how the supreme court decides the cases in front of them. It is only a matter of time before partner benefits/social security payments etc are addressed.

    Lets all keep our fingers crossed that we win these rights soon

    Posted by: jtramon | Jan 8, 2013 3:36:51 PM


  3. I look forward to Scalia's minority opinion as to why this blatant discrimination is A-OK.

    You really have to be a terrible person to not want DOMA to die.

    Posted by: kpo5 | Jan 8, 2013 3:37:17 PM


  4. Unbelievably horrific. Land of the free my ass. But DOMA is luckily likely in it's last dark days. With that being said, Obama should be doing something in the meantime beforehand and I'm not particularly pleased he won't/isn't.

    Posted by: Francis | Jan 8, 2013 3:39:17 PM


  5. Let the legal battle begin. Right and justice will win out in the end.

    Posted by: Fahd | Jan 8, 2013 3:39:49 PM


  6. I hope this is resolved

    Posted by: Michael Graye | Jan 8, 2013 3:40:24 PM


  7. I agree completely with Bill.

    I don't know see how any American, Republican or Democrat, can justify unequal treatment for military spouses in a case like this, yet Republican leaders continue to defend and try to justify DOMA. This story needs much wider exposure.

    Posted by: Joe in CT | Jan 8, 2013 3:45:43 PM


  8. Senator Hagel, how would you deal with this situation as Secretary?

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Jan 8, 2013 4:00:35 PM


  9. If Chuck Hagel were to speak out forcefully in favor of this soldier and her right to receive death benefits, then I will support Mr. Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

    This is an outrage and another example of the hurdles we face due to DOMA and conservative, GOP, christian-based bigotry.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 8, 2013 4:31:32 PM


  10. WRONG! It is simply NOT TRUE that DOMA, as bad as it is, prevents a same-sex partner from receiving ANY survivor benefits. SLDN has quoted the Pentagon's identification of the following benefits because their recipient is "service member designated," and, in fact were available BEFORE repeal:

    • Beneficiary of Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) payments
    • Receipt of unused contributions from Post Vietnam-Era Veterans Assistance Program (VEAP) and the Montgomery G.I. Bill Death Benefit, as long as the person is also designated as an SGLI beneficiary
    • Beneficiary of Thrift-Savings Plan (TSP)
    • Retirement annuity under the SURVIVOR Benefit Plan (SBP), as long as the service member is not in an opposite-sex marriage and does not have a dependent child
    • Beneficiary for Death Gratuity and Beneficiary for Unpaid Pay/Allowances on DD Form 93.

    OF COURSE, we must fight for the end of DOMA but telling gay military couples NOTHING is available to them is irresponsibly cruel.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 8, 2013 4:53:36 PM


  11. Obama is a despicable, whining little man. It sickens me to even call him a president. Of all the billions of dollars in fraud and waste in government he could have cut, the President had to pick on dead Vets. Of course, Obama did this to punish Vets and their families, because they did not vote for him. May Democrats rot in hell for their sickening actions and anti-American political party.

    Posted by: Rattoo | Oct 9, 2013 10:51:19 AM


  12. And the troll above, RATTO, fails to mention it wasn't Obama's decision on what gets cut on the shut down and RATTO also doesn't mention that his party hates Gay vets with a passion of a thousand burning suns

    Posted by: 1♥ | Oct 9, 2013 11:16:54 AM


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