Mr. HARE. Mr. Chair, I'd like to begin by thanking my friend Chairman Skelton, for his unwavering commitment to our Nation's defense and the warfighter.
Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support of my amendment included in En Bloc package 3.
Mr. Chair, my amendment simply asks the Army Secretary to report to Congress with the details of the Heirloom Chest policy, plans to continue the program and a cost estimate of expanding it.
The Heirloom Chest is presented by the Army to families in memory of soldiers who have fallen in the defense of our Nation. Under the Army's policy, in the case of separated, divorced, or unmarried parents, the chest is given to only one surviving parent.
While I applaud the Army's efforts to support surviving families, I believe this policy ignores the loss that both parents share and has also unintentionally put added strain on bereaving parents.
Mr. Chair, the intent of my amendment is to ensure the sacrifice of both surviving parents is properly recognized. Families of the fallen have made the ultimate sacrifice, and it is our duty to honor the sacrifice of all survivors.
I urge my colleagues to support this en bloc amendment and the underlying bill.
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