Captain, United States Navy
PROMISES PAYMENT TO WIDOW
WASHINGTON, March 23, 1974 - The Pentagon promised today to quickly authorize payment of travel costs for relatives attending funerals of dead American prisoners of war.
The Defense Department issued a statement that it supported a bill for this money that was rushed through the Senate yesterday. The legislation must still pass the House, which may happen on Monday.
Yesterday, the Pentagon received orders from President Nixon to explore all possible avenues of help for a widow and her 12-year-old son to attend the burial of her husband.
The widow, Mrs. Cecile Abbott of Sacremento, California, had found that the government would not pay travel costs for the burial of Captain John Abbott in Arlington National Cemetery. His body was returned from Hanoi earlier this month.
Mrs. Abbott was quoted as saying that she thought it "inequitable" for the government to take this position.
Defense officials had indicated that their
hands were tied by the law and Senator Robert J. Dole, Republican of Kansas,
introduced corrective legislation.