I have been in contact with several House members about HR 1695. It basically allows non-regular veterans to draw retirement benefits at the age of 55 rather than 60. My father got me interested in the legislation. Dad served in the NC Army National Guard for 23 years and was discharged in 1992 because of a hip-replacement surgery.
At the time of discharge, Dad held the rank of First Sergeant and had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army and NCARNG Commendation Medals, 2 Army Achievement Medals, 5 Army Reserve Achievement Medals, a National Defense Service Medal, 2 Humanitarian Defense Service Medals, and 2 NC State Active Duty Ribbons.
While Dad is now 58, single, and drawing a small civil service disability check, he is still forced to do odd-jobs a couple days a week to make ends meet.
But that's my personal story. I would support the bill regardless. It seems to be a good recruitment and retention tool, especially in recruiting ex-regular military personnel into the Guard/Reserves, who are sorely needed now both home and abroad (see Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan).
Also, the bill is currently in the hands of the Armed Services Committee. It is (co) sponsored by 35 Democrats and 14 Republicans including Virginia Foxx and Heath Shuler. 7 (co) sponsors are on the committee.
This bill died in committee during the last session. If you find this bill as important as I do I urge you to contact Walter Jones (NC3) and Larry Kissell (NC8), both members of the Armed Services Committee and ask for their support.
Thanks for listening and a front-page posting, however brief, would be greatly appreciated.
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