Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Afghanistan Bombing Victims’ (Dane Paresi) Widow Feels Betrayed by Military

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 12, 2010

Wait until CNA gets through with her……

Chris Egert
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News

TACOMA, Wash. — She’s a dedicated military wife who watched her husband march off to battle for years.

Now, she’s opening-up about the day her husband was killed in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan.  Dane Paresi was killed in December.  When KIRO 7 Morning News Anchor Chris Egert talked to his widow, she said she feels betrayed by the military her husband dedicated his career to.  Master Sergeant Dane Clark Paresi was killed in Afghanistan, Dec. 30, 2009.   He had won about every military honor available in his 27 years in the Army and been almost everywhere while working in Special Forces.

“Afghanistan and Iraq.  He’s just been all over: Rwanda, right after the genocide, helping. Mauritania, Mozambique, Kenya,” said MindyLou Paresi, his wife of 14 years.

Mystery surround’s Paresi’s death, and MindyLou says she’s doesn’t know much.   He was working as a contractor for the company formerly known as Blackwater, now called Xe, when a man infiltrated a forward military base in Khost province and blew himself up.  Paresi, was one of seven US intelligence operatives killed.  “What they were able to tell me is that they were meeting with this man, and he got out of the wrong side of the car, he was very animated, he had his hands in his pockets, and when Dane and Jeremy went in to do their security check, that’s when he detonated the bomb, and that’s all I know,  ” MindyLou Paresi said.

MindyLou Paresi said the outpouring of support from friends, family, the CIA, the Xe has been overwhelming.   She and her daughters even got a letter of condolence from President Obama

Yet now, as hard as it is, she wants to shed some light on the negative experiences she’s had since her husband’s death — particularly what she describes as the “two hours of hell” she spent in early January at Waller Hall on Joint Base Lewis McChord.  “When you are grieving, you are in a cloud, you are in a fog, you feel like you have the weight of the world on you, you can’t move,” she said.  In that blurry mental state, Mrs. Paresi said she was called and told to go to the office of Casualty Affairs, then asked to discuss details about what happened with a staff she considered rude and uncaring, with no privacy or sensitivity to the subject.

“I wasn’t taken into a room,  I wasn’t treated with respect, what are you here for?   How can I help you?”  Paresi says the experience was similar in all the offices she visited that day.  Then, while waiting at one of the various departments, Mrs. Paresi said a soldier approached her and made the off-handed comment about her being “available now” as she was again discussing the details of her husband’s recent death, right out in the open.  “And I looked at him and I just — I am in a fog, and I am, like, what? T  hat doesn’t even deserve a response, and I walked out.

“Her mistreatment claims that go beyond Joint Base Lewis McChord to Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.  Shortly after her husband’s death, she was told that his retirement pay and VA disability paycheck had been rescinded.  Three thousand, five hundred dollars that the government had already paid was then taken out of their account — because Dane hadn’t lived the entire month.  “They had deposited it, the retirement check and the VA check, on the first.   Dane was killed on the 30th.   And because he did not live another 7 hours and 31 minutes, they took it out.

“Her belief is that retired military families don’t get near the assistance and respect as active duty.   She is now in the process of setting up a non-profit organization called Paresi’s Promise as a way to bring attention to unbelievable amount of bureaucracy and paperwork involved in the current process.

Egert: “This has to be an incredible insult?”
Paresi: “It is, in more ways than you can imagine. I did not expect the red carpet to be rolled out, but I expected to be treated with dignity and respect, and that wasn’t the case.

“We contacted Joint Base Lewis McChord about this on Thursday. The Public Affairs office issued this statement Friday afternoon, saying in part,

“We are deeply concerned that the service provided to Mrs. Paresi following the death of her husband, Master Sergeant (Retired) Dane Paresi, did not meet the highest standards we all expect.”

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