Monday, March 26, 2007

Reid Introduces Bill To Protect Injured Veterans, Troops In Iraq

In his continued effort to improve the quality of life for veterans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced a bill in the Senate Monday that will help more than 23,000 injured veterans who are returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world.

The Combat-Related Special Compensation Act of 2007, will ensure veterans who suffer from combat-related injuries receive both pro-rated military retirement pay and their disability compensation.

"This bill will help the thousands of men and women serving in the military, including many Nevadans, who are wounded in the line of duty," said Reid. "Our service men and women are forced into early retirement because of tragic combat-related injury experienced on the battlefield. When these heroic veterans come home they should receive the fair benefits they have earned and rightfully deserve. They shouldn't have to worry about dealing with unfair policies. This bill eliminates the inequities that prohibit disabled veterans from collecting both their military retirement pay and disability compensation."

Under current policy, a service member with a combat-related disability who served 20 years and one day receives full earned retirement pay, but a member injured in combat and medically retired with a 100 percent disability rating at 19 years and 11 months must forfeit their retirement pay.

Reid's bill helps those who had hoped to make the military a career, but were discharged prematurely for an injury sustained in combat and forced to retire medically before attaining 20 years of service.