Today, Congressman Bill Owens urged Upstate Veterans whose service was involuntarily extended in Iraq and Afghanistan to apply for their due retroactive pay. Soldiers eligible for such payments will receive $500 per month for each month their service was extended, and have until October 21, 2010 to apply.
"The sacrifices that our servicemen and women and their families have made for our country are too many to count, and it is critical to the integrity of our armed forces that we make every effort to pay them back for giving so much to our nation," Owens said. "This retroactive pay program helps us to support our troops and makes good on one of the promises our country has made to them when they enlisted in the service."
In his first year in office, Owens has cosponsored legislation to further improve the quality of life for veterans and active duty soldiers, including:
* H.R. 667: the Heroes at Home Act of 2009, a bill to establish a program on training and certification of family caregivers of veterans and members with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and conduct outreach to enhance awareness of veterans and the public about the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and TBI, as well as the services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to veterans with such symptoms.
* H.R. 953: the Veterans Travel Tax Relief Act of 2009, a bill to allow veterans a deduction from gross income for their travel expenses, including those of a family member, to a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center for treatment related to a service-connected disability or for an examination related to a claim for disability compensation or a pension.
* H.R. 2254: the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009, a bill to improve access to benefits for veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
* H.R. 3341: a bill directing the Secretary of the VA to automatically enroll returning members of the Armed Forces in the VA medical system upon discharge or separation from duty, for the purpose of reducing delays in service.
For more information or to submit a claim please visit www.defense.gov/stoploss .