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Wyden and others seek same benefits for wounded Guard and Reserve members

Sen. Ron Wyden D-Oregon

Sen. Ron Wyden
D-Oregon

GI Bill Fairness Act would ensure education benefits for wounded Guard and Reserve members

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and John Boozman, R-Ark., along with Rep. Mark Takano, D-Ca., today introduced the GI Bill Fairness Act, legislation that would ensure wounded Guardsmen and Reservists receive the GI Bill benefits they’ve earned.

Members of the Guard or Reserve who are wounded in combat are often given orders under 10 USC 12301(h) for their recovery, treatment and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, federal law does not recognize such orders as eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill education assistance, meaning that unlike other members of the military, these members of the Guard and Reserve actually lose benefits for being injured in the line of duty.

The GI Bill Fairness Act would end that unequal treatment and ensure these service members are eligible for the same GI Bill benefits as active duty members of the military.

“By disqualifying wounded Guardsmen and Reservist from benefits they should be earning, this quirk in law is literally adding insult to injury” Sen. Wyden said. “That’s not anything I want to support, and our commonsense, bipartisan legislation will fix this problem by making sure these brave Americans get the benefits they’ve earned.”

“It is truly unjust to deny wounded and injured service members the ability to accrue educational benefits for the time they spend receiving medical care. Today, I am proud to join Sen. Wyden and Rep. Takano in sponsoring legislation that fixes this oversight in the law,” Sen. Boozman said.

“Many Guardsmen and Reservists serve in nearly the same capacity as active duty service members, and we should treat them equally if they are injured while putting their life on the line for our country,” Rep. Takano said. “This legislation would ensure those members get the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits they deserve. No veteran should lose their benefits simply because they were in the National Guard or Reserves. I’m proud to introduce this legislation in the House, and I hope that Democrats and Republicans can come together to treat these heroes with the respect they deserve.”

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