WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined efforts to ensure wounded members of the National Guard and Reserve receive the education benefits they’ve earned through the GI Bill by re-introducing the GI Bill Fairness Act with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA).
Unlike other members of the military, under current federal law, members of the Guard and Reserve actually lose benefits for being injured in the line of duty. That’s because federal law does not recognize as eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill education assistance the type of orders (under 10 USC 12301(h)) that members of the Guard or Reserve are often given for their recovery and rehabilitation if they are wounded in combat.
The GI Bill Fairness Act would end that unequal treatment by ensuring these servicemembers are eligible for the same GI Bill benefits as active duty members of the military.
“It is absurd that combat injured Guard and Reserve members are being unfairly penalized under current law,” Boozman said. “This legislation is needed to correct this injustice for our service members.”
“Federal law inexplicably stops many wounded Guardsmen and Reservists from earning GI Bill benefits,” Wyden said. “Our commonsense, bipartisan legislation will fix this injustice by making sure these brave Americans get the benefits they’ve earned.”
“Guardsmen give no less to their country in the line of duty than their active duty counterparts, and we cannot give them less in return,” Markey said. “This legislation will ensure that we keep our promises to those who have kept their promises to us; we will no longer deny these American soldiers the benefits that they have earned.”
The GI Bill Fairness Act was included in a broader bill that passed the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs in May 2016.