Senators Say Medically-Discharged Troops Should Not Be Penalized
The U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan amendment introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to the 2009 Budget that would create a reserve fund to guarantee that veterans who are wounded in combat are able to receive full payment of bonuses and incentives.
"Tens of thousands of troops have been injured in Iraq with many of them struggling to support themselves and their families," said Senator Casey. "They gave us their word that they would serve and protect us at any cost. The very least we can do is to honor the promises we made to them by providing them with the benefits they deserve and have earned."
"Our young men and women serve with incredible courage and bravery. Their enlistment represents a commitment to serve and protect their country," Sessions said. "In return, the United States makes a commitment to them. Providing the compensation that they were promised will ensure that the government fulfills its end of the bargain."
"Our injured troops deserve support and respect equal to their tremendous sacrifices for our nation. I applaud this measure's passage, and I'm pleased that my colleagues recognize the importance of guaranteeing our wounded warriors the benefits to which they're entitled," said Senator Clinton.
In December of 2007, Senators Sessions, Clinton and Casey introduced the Wounded Warrior Bonus Equity Act which requires payment of remaining bonus entitlement to service members within 90 days of retirement or separation due to a combat-related injury. The bill was introduced in response to a report of an injured service member from Pennsylvania being asked to repay his enlistment bonus. It would also direct the Department of Defense to perform an internal audit to identify former service members who have been affected by this practice.