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Action Alert

NGAUS Legislative Alert #13-1

February 22, 2013

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The Issue:  Authorizing Veteran Status for National Guard and Reserve Members Entitled to Reserve Retirement Pay

Immediate Action Required: Contact your representatives and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 679, the Honor Guard-Reserve Retires Act

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., has reintroduced the Honor Guard-Reserve Retirees Act, H.R. 679.This cost-neutral bill provides an opportunity for a divided Congress to come together to honor our National Guard and Reserve members.

Co-sponsors are Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., Rep. Duncan Hunger, R-Calif., Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, and Rrep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.

A similar bill passed the House unanimously in each of the last two Congresses only to stall in the Senate   because of unfounded concerns that this would open the floodgates for additional veterans’ benefits for those recognized by the legislation.

Most members of Congress and some of those serving or retired National Guard and Reserve members may not know that a reserve-component member can successfully complete a National Guard or Reserve career but not earn the title of “veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States” unless the member has served on Title 10 active duty for other than training purposes. 
 
H.R.679 would authorize veteran status under Title 38 for National Guard and Reserve members who are entitled to a non-regular retirement under Chapter 1223 of 10 USC, but, through no fault of their own, were never called to active federal service.

For example, the service of National Guard members in Operation Noble Eagle and on the Southwestern border while on Title 32 orders would alone not qualify them to earn the “veteran” because those missions are technically considered training. 
  
The bill would not bestow any benefits other than the honor of claiming veteran status for those who honorably served and sacrificed as career reserve-component members. They deserve nothing less.

TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION: 

By using the Write to Congress feature on the NGAUS website at www.ngaus.org, you can email your elected representatives.  A sample letter is included. You can email the prewritten message or edit the sample letter as you desire.  This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to use Write to Congress as well. For further information and background, visit our website. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Pete Duffy, the NGAUS acting legislative director, at 202-454-5307 or via email at pete.duffy@ngaus.org

 




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