RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

SOLE SURVIVOR UPDATE 1 August 2008

Posted by Service Officer on July 31st, 2008

Jason Hubbard and his two younger brothers all served in Iraq. He was the only one to return home alive. After the deaths of his brothers Jared and Nathan, Hubbard left the Army under the military’s “sole survivor” policy, which allows sole surviving siblings to be discharged before their enlistment period is over. But Hubbard soon found that the Army was denying him benefits he would otherwise have been entitled to, including health coverage and access to the GI Bill. He was asked to repay some of his enlistment bonus. The House moved 29 JUL to restore those benefits to Hubbard and others in his position. By voice vote lawmakers passed the “Hubbard Act,” which ensures that sole survivors are entitled to the same benefits as others who honorably leave the military, including transitional health care, educational support and separation pay that compensates for inability to continue service. Rep. Devin Nunes (D-CA) who is Hubbard’s congressman noted that the sole survival policy was established some 65 years ago after the widely publicized death of the five Sullivan brothers at sea during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. “In all that time, no law has been passed on behalf of sole survivors,” Nunes said. “The Hubbard Act rectifies this oversight and honors the patriotic service and enormous sacrifice of the Hubbards.” Companion legislation is being sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). They hope to move it quickly through Congress so it can go to President Bush for his signature. The Defense Department has counted at least 50 sole survivors since 911 according to Nunes’ office. Most of the act is retroactive to that date. [Source: AP Erica Werner article 29 Jul 08 ++]

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