RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

SOLE SURVIVOR UPDATE – May 1 2008

Posted by Service Officer on April 30th, 2008

Congressman, Rep. Devin Nunes, is leading an effort to pass a bill that would ensure basic benefits to all soldiers who are discharged under an Army policy governing sole surviving siblings and children of soldiers killed in combat. The rule is a holdover from World War II meant to protect the rights of service people who have lost a family member to war. The Hubbard Act (H.R.5825), introduced 16 APR, would for the first time detail the rights of sole survivors, and extend to them a number of benefits already offered to other soldiers honorably discharged from military service. The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), would waive payback of their enlistment bonuses, allow them to participate in G.I. educational programs, give them separation pay and access to transitional health care. H.R.5825 has strong bi-partisan support with 248 co-sponsors. Additionally, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has introduced a Senate companion bill, S.2874. cosponsored by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. The Department of Defense has identified 52 sole survivors since the Sept. 11 attacks. According to Army spokesman Maj. Nathan Banks the Army will adopt to any changes in policy springing from the legislation. [Source: ArmyTimes AP Garance Burke article 17 Apr 08 ++]

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