Press Releases

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and U.S. Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) introduced the Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Act of 2015, a bipartisan, bicameral bill honoring as veterans, Guard and Reserve retirees who served honorably for a minimum of 20 years but do not meet the active duty service requirement to qualify them as veterans under existing law. 

The law defines a veteran as servicemen and women who have served on active duty. This legislation would amend this definition and allow these Guard and Reserve retirees to be recognized as a veteran. Due to the fact that no additional benefits beyond the title of veteran are extended to these retirees, there is no cost associated with this legislation. 

“National Guard and Reserve members who selflessly serve in defense of our country should be honored for their sacrifice. These men and women earned this recognition for their steadfast commitment to our national security and Armed Forces and rightfully deserve to be honored with the title of veteran,” Boozman, a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs said. 

“Members of our National Guard and Reserve serve our country honorably, here in our home states and overseas. Indiana has the fourth-largest National Guard contingent in the country and a strong history of Hoosiers serving in the Reserves. After twenty years of service to their communities and our nation, these dedicated men and women deserve our recognition and respect as veterans,” Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. 

“These folks took an oath, and that oath was to defend our nation at any cost; to stand ready for decades, at a moment’s notice, to deploy anywhere in the world in defense of our great nation,” Walz, the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress, said. “The very least we could do is to give them the honor and recognition they have earned and deserve. I’m proud to re-introduce this bicameral, bipartisan bill and urge my colleagues to support it.” 

This legislation is supported by the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS).

The House of Representatives passed similar legislation last Congress.