U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor won Senate approval today of a measure that will allow a $100,000 death benefit for the family of Samson Luke, who was on weekend National Guard duty at Fort Chaffee in 2010 but died while spending the night in his home nearby in Greenwood, as he’d been authorized to do. The Army had resisted payment of the claim because he didn’t die on the base.
Under the Pryor measure, benefits can be paid if a soldier dies while remaining overnight “in the vicinity of the site of the inactive-duty training.”
The measure is part of the 2012 defense budget, which is expected to pass the Senate next week. It will have to be reconciled with House legislation and Pryor said he was “cautiously optimistic” the measure would survive the process.