The Pentagon on Tuesday will award $25.8 million to help families of U.S. military personnel who were killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including families of those who were involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the U.N. weapons inspectors who were charged with finding evidence of weapons of mass destruction.
The Pentagon’s chief weapons inspector, Richard Verma, will receive $25,000 per family to help pay for burial expenses, a spokesman for the Office of the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics told reporters.
The $25m will be divided equally between the families of the fallen soldiers, Verma’s office said.
The money will go to a pool of about $35m that will be used to help fund research, education and scholarships.
In 2003, Vermas office found that the United States had a program in place that helped cover costs associated with military funerals.
He found that a small percentage of the military personnel killed in Iraq and in Afghanistan were buried in U.R.V.S., a device that resembled a coffin but could be carried by people.
The U.K.-based charity Asco, which helped support Verma during his investigations, has since taken over the program, which provides free coffin storage to military families and to veterans, as well as medical treatment and funeral expenses.
The charity said it will continue to work with the U