WASHINGTON (AP) — Pentagon officials say Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is traveling to Dover Air Force Base, Del., this morning for the arrival of the remains of four U.S. soldiers killed Sunday in Afghanistan.
The remains of every U.S. military member killed overseas are flown to Dover for processing. Family members attend the arrival but not usually the secretary of defense.
The administration has been criticized by some Republicans for suspending $100,000 emergency death payments to families of those killed. The Pentagon says payments are not legally allowed during the government shutdown.
The four killed Sunday are 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, of San Diego, Calif.; Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa.; Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo., and Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore.