EANGUS Call to Action; 2017-02

EANGUS Call To Action 2017-02

Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1379 to amend Title 38 United States Code to provide for the entitlement to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs for members of the Armed Forces awarded the Purple Heart. H.R. 1379 extends benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program to all honorably discharged, Purple Heart recipients regardless of duration of service. Currently, Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits are only available if a veteran completes at least 36 months of active duty service or is medically retired; however, some Purple Heart recipients are honorably discharged before either of those qualifications are attained, making them ineligible for full payments. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that each year, between 1,200 and 1,500 Purple Heart recipients are unable to receive full educational benefits because of the 36-month active duty service requirement. A large number of those individuals deployed with the Guard and Reserves. This bill would allow Purple Heart recipients to access the benefits they earned. Please contact your Member of Congress and request they support H.R. 1379.

Take Action: Click here

EANGUS Legislative Call To Action: 10 March 2017

H.R. 1384 “Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act of 2017″
Take Action: EANGUS Call To Action 2017-01
The House of Representatives’ National Guard and Reserve Caucus Co-Chairs, Representative Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) introduced H.R. 1384 “Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act of 2017″ to fix the disparity created by the 12304b duty status.

Current Law

12304b mobilization authority was established in the 2012 NDAA to allow DOD to deploy reserve forces for preplanned missions in support of combatant commanders. However, 12304b created a benefit disparity among the components. Reserve forces are compelled to leave behind family, friends, careers, and education pursuits to provide: life-saving humanitarian aid across the globe, security forces and logistical support in Sinai, Kosovo, Eastern Europe, and around the world. Unlike the active component, reserve forces are not provided: pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE; Post-9/11 Montgomery GI Bill Benefits; reduction in retirement age; credit for time spent deployed.

If passed by Congress and signed by the President, H.R. 1384 would provide:

Pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE to service members and their families; Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility to support personal and professional development; and greater predictability for operational deployments in order to protect time with families.

The EANGUS National Office requests that members please take a few minutes out of your day to message your delegation in Washington, D.C. to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1384, and support the bill should it come to the floor.

EANGUS Call To Action 2017-01

Thank you for your support!!!

NGAUS Legislative Alert; 8 March 2017

Please contact your Members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor and support H.R. 1384.

NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 1384, the Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act, introduced on March 8th by Representatives Steven Palazzo of Mississippi’s 4th District, Tim Walz of Minnesota’s 1st District, Trent Franks of Arizona’s 8th District, and Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire’s 1st District.

The legislation will eliminate the benefits disparity created by the 12304b mobilization authority, which was created in 2012 to allow the Department of Defense (DoD) to deploy reserve forces for pre-planned missions in support of combatant commanders.  However, unlike the active component, those reserve forces are not provided pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE, post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits, reduction in retirement age, and credit for time spent while deployed.

The Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act will provide:

  • Pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE to service members and their families.
  • Post-9/11 G.I. Bill eligibility to support personal and professional development.
  • Greater predictability for operational deployments in order to protect time with families.

NGAUS Point of Contact:

Matt Pincus
(202) 408-5897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

NGAUS Alert; 1 March 2017

Please contact your Senators and urge them to co-sponsor and support S. 473.

“NGAUS applauds the introduction of the Educational Development for Troops and Veterans Act, which would provide numerous protections and opportunities for our members,” said the NGAUS President, MG (Ret) Gus Hargett.  “We appreciate Senator Tester’s efforts to correct the benefit disparity for members of the National Guard who mobilize for pre-planned missions across the globe. This important bill will help ensure the men and women of the National Guard accrue Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits in the same manner as their active-duty brothers and sisters. This is not just a benefit-parity issue; it is a question of fairness.”

  1. 473, the Educational Development for Troops and Veterans Act was introduced on March 1st by Senators Jon Tester of Montana, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.

This legislation will:

  1. Provide protections and benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve who deploy by ensuring they receive the same G.I. Bill education benefits as their active duty counterparts for time deployed overseas.
  2. Allow service members to defer student loan payments during training for an upcoming deployment.  Service members train for months before a deployment, often have to relocate to do so, and shouldn’t face financial hardship due to their student loan payments while serving our country.
  3. Establish a grant program to build, maintain, and improve college veteran education centers to help student veterans maximize their benefits, receive academic aid, and connect with their peers on campus.
  4. Keep tuition assistance for members of the National Guard and Reserve competitive; G.I. Bill tuition assistance for Guardsmen and Reservists should not continue to lose value.
  5. Protect Reservists’ monthly housing allowance during training by correcting a discrepancy that denies Reservists who train on active duty status from receiving the full housing allowance to which they should be entitled, with many who are students that greatly rely on the allowance to further their education.

Passing this bill will help ensure the men and women of the National Guard accrue Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits in the same manner as their active duty counterparts and will further support the soldiers who protect our nation.  Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our veterans and Armed Forces.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Matt Pincus
(202) 408-5897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

Reject Military Pay and Benefits Cuts

MOAA members are some of the most engaged citizens in the country. We’ve dedicated our lives to service before self, and we know what it means to never stop serving.

I’m proud of how much we’ve accomplished this year. We’ve helped pass several important pieces of legislation to help veterans and military families. To date, MOAA members have sent over 240,000 messages to their elected officials this year. That’s more than any other military or veterans service organization on Capitol Hill.

But we need your help.

Over the next two weeks, members of Congress may leave Washington without having completed an annual defense bill. Members of the Armed Services committees were confident they could complete their work before returning to their home districts.

Some of the proposals up for debate in the defense bill are a bad deal for the military community, including:

  • pay raises that fail to keep pace with the private sector;
  • dramatic pharmacy fee increases;
  • erosions to housing allowances; and
  • continued cuts to commissaries.

These shortsighted decisions will have a long-term effect on the future of America’s military.

Fortunately, House lawmakers passed a defense bill that rejected these cost-cutting measures. But our friends in the Senate accepted them.

Some lawmakers operate under the faulty assumption that we need to cut military pay and benefits to fund readiness programs. The fact is, we need both.

We have one last chance. It’s up to you to tell lawmakers we cannot afford to erode the pay and benefits of the all-volunteer force.

TAKE ACTION NOW! Click here to make your voice heard.

EANGUS Legislative Alert #2015-10; 2 July 2015

EANGUS Legislative Alert: Aviation Restructure Initiative

Rep Granger & Rep Womack Letter regarding the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative

The EANGUS National Office is working hard to stop the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI). We ask EANGUS members to click on the hyperlinked letter below and encourage your Member of Congress to sign the Granger Womack Letter.

Click here for letter

Take action: Click here

EANGUS Legislative Alert #2015-9; 1 July 2015

EANGUS Legislative Alert: FLORICH Act
EANGUS supports H.R. 2852, the Founding Legacies of Reserve Integral Combat-training Heroes (FLORICH) Act. This legislation addresses the disparity of burial privileges for members of the National Guard who are killed in training missions alongside their active-duty counterparts.

Rep. Graves’ legislation was introduced in response to the tragic training accident off the coast of Florida in March that resulted in the death of Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich of the Louisiana Army National Guard. Florich and three other Guardsmen were participating in a training exercise with a group of seven Marines, all of whom died when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down. The Army initially deemed Staff Sgt. Florich ineligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery because he died while training. In June, the Army reversed its decision and granted Staff Sgt. Florich interment at Arlington following advocacy efforts by the Florich family, the general public and members of Congress.

EANGUS applauds Army Secretary John McHugh’s decision to allow Florich to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as his announcement of an internal review of the exemption policy. EANGUS also supports Rep. Graves’ legislation that would prevent families of fallen Guardsmen in the future from enduring unnecessary hardships and delays caused by the current policy. H.R. 2852 would create a narrow exemption to current policy by affording burial privileges at Arlington National Cemetery to members of the reserve component who die while carrying out a mission during which an active-duty servicemember also perishes.
Take action: Click here

EANGUS Legislative Alert #2015-8; 30 June 2015

Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act

EANGUS strongly supports the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act, which would allow veterans to seek immediate mental health care at any facility eligible to receive reimbursement through the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

EANGUS is committed to improving the care of our nation’s veterans. Securing mental health services for our nation’s veterans who need immediate and confidential help is of the utmost importance if our nation is to comprehensively address the high incidences of suicide, substance abuse, and traumatic stress in this community. Veterans are not the only ones who face these challenges in our country, and they should be able to take advantage of other federal, state, local and community-based confidential care that is open to all Americans. The Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act offers this choice.

Take action: Click here

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-14; 29 June 2015

The Issue: Ask your representatives to support H.R. 1604, the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ.

Immediate Action Required: Ask your representatives to support H.R. 1604, the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act, a bill that would allow veterans to seek immediate mental health care at any facility eligible to receive reimbursement through the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

NGAUS is committed to improving the care of our nation’s veterans. Securing mental health services for our nation’s veterans who need immediate and confidential help is of the upmost importance if our nation is to comprehensively address the high incidences of suicide, substance abuse, and traumatic stress in this community. Veterans are not the only ones who face these challenges in our country, and they should be able to take advantage of other federal, state, local and community-based confidential care that is open to all Americans. This bill offers them this choice.

Please contact your representatives and urge them to support this bill.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
Joint Programs Manager
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

NGAUS Legislative Alert #13-15; 26 June 2015

The Issue: Remedy the burial privileges disparity for members of the National Guard

Immediate Action Required: Ask your representative to support H.R. 2852, the Founding Legacies of Reserve Integral Combat-training Heroes (FLORICH) Act, sponsored by Rep. Garret Graves, R-La.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 2852, the Founding Legacies of Reserve Integral Combat-training Heroes (FLORICH) Act, which addresses the disparity of burial privileges for members of the National Guard who are killed in training missions alongside their active-duty counterparts.
NGAUS is committed to ensuring the brave men and women of the National Guard are eligible to receive the same burial privileges as members of the active component. Rep. Graves’ legislation was introduced in response to the tragic training accident off the coast of Florida in March that resulted in the death of Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich of the Louisiana Army National Guard. Florich and three other Guardsmen were participating in a training exercise with a group of seven Marines, all of whom died when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down.

The Army initially deemed Florich ineligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery because he died while training. In June, the Army reversed its decision and granted Florich interment at Arlington following advocacy efforts by the Florich family, the general public and members of Congress.

NGAUS applauds Army Secretary John McHugh’s decision to allow Florich to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as his announcement of an internal review of the exemption policy. However, we support Rep. Graves’ legislation that would prevent families of fallen Guardsmen in the future from enduring unnecessary hardships and delays caused by the current policy. H.R. 2852 would create a narrow exemption to current policy by affording burial privileges at Arlington National Cemetery to members of the reserve component who die while carrying out a mission during which an active-duty service member also perishes.

Please contact your representative and urge them to support this bill.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Matt Pincus
202.408.5897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here