Bullies reach new low in questioning financial need

Thursday, June 9, 2016 1:07 PM

Whatever happened to, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?"

Questioning a military widow for accepting financial support, to me, is about the lowest thing someone could do.

And instead of doing this privately, say to a friend or a spouse, these bullies do it in public on facebook.

The loss of Capt. Jeff Kuss of Durango last week was a terrible thing. I'm acquainted with members of the Kuss family, and I can only imagine the depths of their loss. I have two sons myself and I'm grateful every day they're healthy and doing well.

But I guess bullies are just mean when it comes to money, or when it comes to someone getting something they're not.

The sister-in-law of Jeff Kuss, Nicole Perino, set up a Go Fund Me campaign to make donations to her sister, Kuss's widow, Christina, and their two children. The goal of the campaign was $250,000.

Immediately, there were comments on the page, as well as facebook pages announcing the campaign, asking why Kuss's family needed this money.

Apparently, according to these loving and generous folks, she will receive military and death benefits and social security.

You know, I'm sure that's all well and good, but I imagine a military bureaucrat wasn't knocking on Christina Kuss's door the next morning and handing her a check.

In the meantime, I bet she had bills to pay, a mortgage or rent, groceries to buy, and all this while dealing with the devastating aftermath that her husband is dead.

If you've priced the cost of raising two kids lately, $250,000 is on the low end. If the family wants to move back to Durango to be closer to family, housing here isn't particularly cheap. Someday, those two children might want to go to college. That's not cheap, either.

Fortunately, the overwhelming generosity of the majority of people overcame the few who whined about it.

The $250,000 was raised in a few days and is now surpassing that, and the goal has been raised to $500,000.

I'm sure a lot of those donations came from folks in Durango who know the Kuss, Stransky and Ferrarese families and wanted to help someone in her time of need.

Many more donations, I assume, came from folks in Tennessee who were saddened that a member of the military died in their midst.

I'm sure many more donations came from Marines, Navy folks, and just plain good people who want to help a military widow and her two kids. In a time of grief and loss, not having to worry about bills for awhile is a huge relief, I'm sure.

On Monday, Christina Kuss wrote the following message on the Go Fund Me page:

"I am absolutely beside myself and humbled at the amount of love and support I have received over the last 4 days. This morning I feel a shred of peace and though I know it won't stay, I attribute it to the amazing things all of you are doing for myself, my children and to honor Jeffery. I feel you all deeply and want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart."

It is my hope people keep contributing if that is what they would like to do. I hope the family can go to Disneyland or the beach or the mountains or do whatever in the heck they want to do and heal for awhile. School, work and the hectic pace of regular life will return soon enough, and Christina Kuss will be facing it on her own while raising two kids. That's a tough situation for anyone, even a Marine wife who was used to her husband's deployments and dangerous profession.

Shame on people who have the gall to question why she could use the money. No matter how much the family receives, it will never replace the loss of a husband and father.

If she has enough money now to live comfortably for a while and take care of her kids, that's a wonderful thing.

Thank you, Jeff Kuss, for your service and your inspiration to many of us. I hope you're flying with angels now.