Pentagon did not decline to pay for Camp Lejeune Marine's body to be transferred to Arlington National Cemetery
A Pentagon spokesperson disputes a claim by Fox News and a Florida lawmaker that the family of a fallen Marine had to pay for her body to be taken to her final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.
Earlier this week, Fox News reported that Florida Republican Rep. Cory Mills’ told the news outlet that Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee’s family got help from a non-profit to fund the $60,000 cost after her 2021 death during the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Public Radio East shared that this was reported by Fox based on information provided by Mills.
However, a statement from the Pentagon said that the government did not decline to pay to take Gee’s body to the national cemetery.
“Through the transfer of remains process, Marine Corps casualty assistance officers were in direct communication with Sgt. Gee’s family, and they remain in contact today. In the case of Sgt. Gee, the Marine Corps stayed consistent with its policy that all costs associated with interment be borne by the government. At this time, we have no record of any incurred charges or any pending requests for reimbursement associated with the transportation of Sgt. Gee’s remains to Arlington National Cemetery. The Marine Corps takes very seriously the transfer of remains of our Marines – they never leave a Marine behind, and they care for the families of their fallen Marines.”
Meanwhile, the Air Force Times is reporting that the non-profit Honoring Our Fallen said that a private in-kind donation allowed for Sgt. Gee's remains to be taken to Virginia in a private aircraft instead of in a commercial plane. No money changed hands, but the flight would have cost about $60,000 if it had not been donated.