Fallen Soldiers Return to Dover Air Force Base - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fallen Soldiers Return to Dover Air Force Base

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DOVER, Del. -Twenty-five-year old Sgt. Patrick Hawkins of Carlisle, Pa.;  24-year old PFC Cody Patterson, of Philomath, Ore.;  25-year old 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno of San Diego, Calif.; and 24-year old Special Agent Joseph Peters of Springfield, Mo. were killed Sunday by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
          
On Wednesday, families came together at Dover Air Force Base for a transfer of their loved ones back to American soil. The remains of every U.S. military member killed overseas are flown to Dover for processing.

Thanks to the government shutdown, many families have been frustrated because they did not initially receive death benefits to properly bury their loved one.

That death gratuity is $100,000 and covers things like burial expenses and travel for funeral services. The Republican-led House unanimously passed legislation on Wednesday to restore the death benefits. The Senate has yet to pass a bill.

The family PFC Cody Peterson allowed the media access to witness his return. It was a solemn ceremony at DAFB as fellow soldiers carried his body of off of a  C-17. Remains are then put in what's called transfer cases. They are then delivered to get prepped for burial.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Secretary of the Army John McHugh were at the base for the arrival of the remains of the four U.S. soldiers killed. It's a trip that most high-ranking officials usually do not attend.  

"The Fisher House Foundation will provide the families of the fallen with the benefits they so richly deserve," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement, adding that the Pentagon would reimburse the foundation after the shutdown ended.

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