Representative Joe Wilson

Representing the 2nd District of South Carolina

WILSON, BLACKBURN INTRODUCE HONORING OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS AND FAMILIES ACT

Feb 1, 2005
Press Release
Calling it “the right thing to do for our military families,” Representative Joe Wilson (SC-2nd District) and Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN-7th District) joined today to introduce the Honoring our Fallen Soldiers and Families Act. The legislation will increase to $100,000 the death gratuity benefit for the families of fallen soldiers, and make that benefit retroactive to October 1, 2001. The bill was developed in conjunction with and mirror’s legislation introduced by Senator George Allen of Virginia. "As our men and women in uniform continue to fight in harm's way to protect our country, Congress should immediately pass this legislation,” said Wilson. "Although we could never fully compensate for the sacrifices of our soldiers, increasing the death benefit will help our grateful nation express our appreciation to military families.” “No discussion of the Iraqi election success would be complete without recognizing the active duty, Reserve, and National Guard men and women who’ve given their lives in this war on terror in the Middle East,” added Blackburn. “It is their sacrifice that is putting terrorism on the run. We cannot forget them, and we must not forget their families – that’s why Representative Joe Wilson and I have introduced the Blackburn-Wilson Honoring our Fallen Soldiers and Families Act. This bill would make the benefit retroactive to October 1, 2001, and is part of our effort to ensure that we’re doing everything possible to support our military families.” The legislation would provide an increase in the death benefit gratuity for the following: A member of an armed force who dies while on active duty or while performing authorized travel to or from active duty, and a Reserve of an armed force who dies while on inactive duty training; Any Reserve of an armed force who assumed an obligation to perform active duty for training, or inactive duty training and who dies while traveling directly to or from that active duty for training or inactive duty training; Any member of a reserve officers’ training corps who dies while performing annual training duty under orders for a period of more than 13 days, or while performing authorized travel to or from that annual training duty; or any applicant for membership in a reserve officers’ training corps who dies while attending field training or a practice cruise or while performing authorized travel to or from the place where the training or cruise is conducted; or A person who dies while traveling to or from or while at a place for final acceptance, or for entry upon active duty (other than for training), in an armed force, who has been ordered or directed to go to that place, and who has been provisionally accepted for that duty; or has been selected for service in that armed force.