Veteran Status for Guard

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

At least one senator is actively opposing a bill that would confer legal veteran status on National Guard and Reserve retirees who serve 20 years but have not been called to Title 10 duty. The Honor America's Guard and Reserve Retirees' Act, H.R. 1025, was introduced by Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and passed the House in October. It has stalled in the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC), the committee's ranking member, reportedly is concerned that giving legal veteran status to this group of retirees, which would cost nothing, could lead to more legislation that would provide benefits that would have a cost. Pete Duffy, the NGAUS acting legislative director, said that argument has no basis. "No data has been produced that would support this irrational fear of National Guard retirees asking for further benefits," he said. "The opposition appears grounded on nothing more than bias against our community." Duffy noted that Guardsmen who are called in the wake of hurricanes or to fight wildfires could retire without veteran status. However, active-component "desk jockeys" who never leave the Pentagon would have that recognition. Walz and others have said the bill is about honoring men and women who took an oath to defend their country and were willing to serve wherever called. Duffy said NGAUS will continue to push for the legislation in hopes of connecting with those lawmakers who understand the true purpose of the bill, [Source: NGAUS Washington Report 3 Jul 2012 ++]


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