The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) to support American troops serving overseas. The Deployed Troops Support Act (H.R. 1756) allows the Department of Defense to transport at no cost, goods supplied by nonprofit organizations to members of the Armed Forces serving overseas. Rep. Posey offered his legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
"When our soldiers are deployed to defend our nation, many patriotic Americans want to do what they can to help, put together care packages and show their support for our brave men and women in uniform," said Posey. "My legislation gives veterans' nonprofits and other private, charitable organizations that support our troops the same consideration that humanitarian organizations are already given for transporting humanitarian goods to foreign nationals overseas. We do here for our troops the same thing that we've been allowing for decades for foreign nations. I commend AVET Project of Brevard County, Florida for bringing this need to my attention and I am pleased that these efforts are bearing fruit."
Since 1985, under the "Denton Program" the Department of Defense has been authorized to transport privately-donated humanitarian cargo for foreign nationals on a space available basis. This program has the dual benefit of making good use of open space on DOD transports while saving humanitarian organizations prohibitive shipping costs. The Deployed Troops Support Act extends the same privilege to organizations supporting our troops, on a space available basis, and the Secretary of Defense would have authority to determine if the supplies are suitable for distribution.