At least two of the families who will be in attendance say their heartache has been compounded by a repercussion of the shutdown: the government withholding a $100,000 "death gratuity" normally paid out to help tide them over until survivor benefits kick in, as detailed in a series of NBC News stories over the past two days, beginning with an Andrea Mitchell report on TODAY.
"It is upsetting because my husband died for his country, and now his family is left to worry," said Ashley Peters of Springfield, Mo., whose husband, Jeremy, was a special agent assigned to the Army's 5th Military Police Battalion and was among the four killed. "My husband always said if something happened to him we would be taken care of."
The father of Pfc. Cody Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore., noted that members of Congress "are still getting paid" a week after the government shutdown.
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"If Congress were trapped in a car that sunk down in a river, I would swim to the window, and I would look them all in the eye and say, 'Suck water,'" Randall Patterson said Tuesday as he prepared to fly to Delaware to retrieve his son's body.
Peters; Patterson; 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, 25, of San Diego; Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa.; were killed Sunday by an improvised bomb in Zhari district, according to the Pentagon.
Seventeen service members have died since the government shut down Oct. 1, a senior defense official said, including six in Afghanistan. None has so far received the death gratuity.
Also suspended is a year's worth of housing allowance, typically paid in a lump sum to the surviving spouse or dependent children of a soldier. For a sergeant in the Washington area with dependents, it could amount to more than $2,000 a month.
And survivors are not receiving a reimbursement specifically aimed at burial and related expenses. That benefit is $9,000 for burial in a private cemetery and $6,000 for burial in a national cemetery.
"The government is hurting the wrong people," said Shannon Collins, whose Marine son, Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Collins, died Saturday while supporting combat operations in Helmand province.
(Read more: The real victims of shutdown: Government workers)
"Families shouldn't have to worry about how they're going to bury their child," she said. "Families shouldn't have to worry about how they're going to feed their family if they don't go to work this week."
Veterans groups and members of Congress from both parties have expressed disgust over the delay in the payments.