Florida Congresswoman Backs Gold Star Families Benefits Protection Act

This week, U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., showcased her support of U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat’s, D-NY, “Gold Star Families Benefits Protection Act” which “would restore access to surviving children of families who have made the ultimate sacrifice of losing a loved one in service to our nation.”

Espaillat introduced the bill last week with Salazar as the co-sponsor.

“Our Gold Star Families made the ultimate sacrifice, and they deserve the full benefits of the military support system” said Salazar. “I am proud to co-lead the bipartisan Gold Star Families Benefits Protection Act and work with our local American Legion to honor the children of our fallen heroes.”

“Our servicemembers put their country first, while risking their lives so that we can live life in freedom and with liberty,” said Rep. Espaillat. “They along with their families dedicate their lives to a life of service to our nation and we must continue honoring our fallen servicemembers by fully supporting their families, especially during these trying times. Military families to not shy away from the challenge of protecting our nation, and we owe it to them to protect the loved ones they have left behind.”

The bill would “ensure all surviving children of a fallen servicemember, who received the Gold Star lapel or a Next of Kin Deceased Personnel lapel, maintain access to worldwide on-base commissary stores and morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) retail facilities on the same basis as a member of the armed forces on active duty” since, as of now “surviving dependents age out of MWR access, but the death of a military parent is a permanent loss to the surviving dependent. This policy restores access to those who have aged out of the system but carry the burden of losing a loved one for a lifetime.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee last week. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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