We need your voice!
Yesterday, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) re-introduced H.R. 1282, the Major Richard Star Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide combat-injured veterans with less than 20 years of military service their full benefits. On Monday, Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Ranking Member Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS.), and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced the bill, S. 344, in the Senate.
The bill is named in honor of Maj. Star, a decorated war veteran who, as a result of his combat-related injuries, was medically retired. On February 13, 2021, Maj. Star sadly lost his battle with cancer that was linked to toxic exposures from multiple overseas deployments. He was 51 years old.
“We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Maj. Richard Star and have offered our sincerest condolences to his family. His service to our Nation and tireless advocacy for veterans will never be forgotten,” said TREA's National President, SMSgt Justin Jump. “This legislation would rightfully provide total offset relief for combat injured servicemembers who were medically retired before reaching 20 years of service. TREA thanks Sen. Tester, Sen. Moran, Sen. Crapo, Rep. Bilirakis, Rep. Ruiz, and their staff for their leadership and urges Congress to swiftly pass this long overdue correction of injustice."
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (Left), Tonya Star (left center),
Maj. Richard Star (right center), Bill McCabe, TREA Director of Legislative Affairs (right)
Under current law, Servicemembers who are medically retired due to combat-related injuries before reaching 20 years of service are prevented from collecting both their service earned retirement pay and VA disability compensation. These two benefits, established by Congress for entirely different reasons, are nonetheless subject to a statutory offset. The Major Richard Star Act will authorize concurrent receipt of DoD retired pay, for years of service, and VA disability compensation for injuries incurred in service. This legislation is another small step in correcting a larger concurrent receipt problem. Official text of the bill can be found HERE.
TREA is requesting that Members of Congress ensure the Major Richard Star Act will be incorporated into the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act. Please consider contacting your Representatives to provide our veterans with the compensation they have rightfully earned!
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