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Fund to help National Guard families

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder.
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder.

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Military reservists and members of the National Guard in Missouri may now get help from a new state fund if they have a financial emergency while deployed overseas.

While Governor Matt Blunt was out of the state Tuesday Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder signed the Missouri Military Family Relief Fund into law.

Kinder says people can donate to the fund directly, or through a check box on the state tax returns.

"What we're doing here is tapping the wellspring of voluntary contributions and the unbelievable generosity of the people across the great state of Missouri to assist these families," Kinder said.

Kinder says the state has not pressured Pentagon officials to provide more funding for guard and reserve salaries. But he acknowledges the soldiers and airmen are underpaid.

About 40 percent of the troops now serving in Iraq are reservists or are from state national guards.