FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2021
Contact: Bill McCabe
TREA Takes Lead Supporting Military Families in Times of Tragedy
WASHINGTON: The Enlisted Association, representing enlisted servicemembers, veterans, retirees, and their families, is taking the lead on supporting S.781, The Elaine M. Checketts Military Families Act of 2021.
Earlier today, TREA sent a letter of support to Chairmen Jack Reed and Adam Smith, and Ranking Members James Inhofe and Mike Rodgers of the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees requesting that S. 781 be included in the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act.
Currently, service branch regulations instantly terminate a servicemember’s paid family leave if the child for whom the leave was taken for passes away. This regulation restricts the options commanders have to support the servicemember, forcing servicemembers during an incredibly difficult time to either immediately return to service, or, if they have available leave days, apply for chargeable emergency leave. S. 781 would empower commanders to allow servicemembers to complete the remainder of their pre-approved primary or secondary caregiver leave following the death of the child for whom the leave was taken.
“No servicemember should have to return to work the day after losing their child” said Justin Jump, National President of The Enlisted Association. “The Elaine M. Checketts Military Families Act would rightfully provide commanders the necessary authority to support military families who are grieving tragic loss. TREA applauds this bipartisan effort and firmly believes that family readiness is essential to the overall readiness of the total force.”
S. 781 is named in honor of the daughter of a servicemember stationed at JBSA-Lackland who confronted this issue following her death. To find a copy of the bill text, click HERE.
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