Widow of Leominster Marine killed in Norway will not receive death benefits; fundraising underway

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Ross Reynolds and Lana Reynolds, with their dog, Frodo.
Ross Reynolds and Lana Reynolds, with their dog, Frodo.

After the death of Marine Corps Capt. Ross Reynolds during a training exercise in Norway on March 18, widow Lana Reynolds found herself not only grappling with the devastation of loss but also with financial burdens, according to her father, Tom Wando.

The couple were married on Feb. 9, four days before the 27-year-old Marine's deployment to Norway.

Wando set up a GoFundMe page April 25 to raise funds for the home mortgage, a school loan and a car loan.

Wando said he set the fundraiser’s goal at $400,000 to match what his daughter would’ve received if she were the designated beneficiary of his policy with Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, which provides life insurance for active-duty service members.

Wando said that in January, when Reynolds, of Leominster, was made aware of his deployment to Norway, he had designated someone other than his then-girlfriend Lana to receive the funds in case of his death. Reynolds had done the same for the death gratuity of $100,000, which is given to a designated surviving person in the case of a military member's death, according to Wando.

“My intention is not to put pressure on the other person,” said Wando. “My intention is to have the will of (Reynolds) be done.”

Another GoFundMe page is also raising money for Lana Reynolds. The page was set up by a family friend and had raised over $12,000 as of April 29.

As of April 29, the GoFundMe page set up by Wando had collected $8,000.

“I don’t think that it will even reach the threshold, but at least I will be making a contribution as her father,” said Wando.

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Wife of Leominster Marine killed in Norway will not receive death benefits; fundraising underway