U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today introduced the Honor America's Guard-Reserve Retirees Act, a bipartisan bill that gives Guard and Reserve retirees with 20 years of service the honor of being called a veteran.
Under current law, the definition of a veteran applies only to servicemen and women who have served on active duty. Pryor and Boozman's bill would amend this definition to allow qualifying individuals to salute when the Star Spangled Banner is played, march in veterans' parades, and be recognized as a veteran by other veterans. This bill is cost neutral, and would not provide any additional financial benefits to a member.
"It's unacceptable that these brave men and women have served our country proudly for over two decades, but through no fault of their own, are not allowed to call themselves veterans," Pryor said. "This bill is a small step we can take to make a big difference to those who have served."
"National Guard and Reserve members who selflessly serve in defense of our country should to be honored for their sacrifice. The men and women who have dedicated two decades of their lives to this nation deserve this recognition. They earned this recognition for their steadfast commitment to our national security and Armed Forces," Boozman, a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs said.
Joining Pryor and Boozman as co-sponsors are Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA) Tim Johnson (D-SD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). This bill is also supported by the Military Coalition, which includes 34 military, veterans, and uniformed service organizations and over 5.5 million members worldwide.