R 136
98-S 2995
Enacted 3/31/98

S E N A T E    R E S O L U T I O N


Introduced By: Senators Kelly, Enos, T. Coderre, Fogarty and Kells

Date Introduced : March 10, 1998

WHEREAS, American servicemen and women have dedicated their careers to protect the rights we all enjoy; and

WHEREAS, Career military personnel endured hardships, privation, the threat of death, disability and long separations from their families in service to our country; and

WHEREAS, Integral to the success of our military forces are those soldiers and sailors who have made a career of defending our great nation in peace and war from the revolutionary war to present day; and

WHEREAS, There exists a gross inequity in the federal statutes that denies disabled career military equal rights to receive Veterans Administration disability compensation concurrent with receipt of earned military retired pay; and

WHEREAS, Legislation has been introduced in the United States Congress to remedy this inequity applicable to career military dating back to the nineteenth century; and

WHEREAS, The injustice concerns those veterans who are both retired with a minimum of 20 years, are denied concurrent receipt of hard earned military longevity retirement pay and Veterans Administration awards for service connected with disability; and

WHEREAS, Career military earn retirement benefits based on longevity of twenty years for honorable and faithful service and rank at time of retirement; and

WHEREAS, Veterans administered compensations serve a different purpose from longevity retired pay and are intended to compensate for pain, suffering, disfigurement, chemicals, wound injuries and a loss of earning ability and have a minimum requirement of 90 days of active duty; and

WHEREAS, The prevailing idea that military retirement pay is "free" is false. There is a contribution to retirement pay, which is calculated to reduce military base pay and retirement pay by approximately seven percent when pay and allowances are computed and approved by Congress; and

WHEREAS, Traditionally, a career military person receives a lower pay and retirement than his or her civilian counterpart and has invested a life of hardships and long hours without the benefit of overtime pay and lack of freedom of expression through the unions; and

WHEREAS, The Veterans Administration awards dependents allowances to disabled veterans with a thirty percent (30%) disability or more for each dependent, which allowances are increased with the amount of disability; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Defense deducts the entire amounts of dependents allowance, essentially leaving the disabled military retiree with no dependents allowance and that extends the discrimination to the families of military longevity retirees; and

WHEREAS, It is unfair to require disabled military retirees to fund their own Veterans Administration compensation by deductions on a dollar for dollar basis in the Department of Defense; and

WHEREAS, No such deduction applies to similarly situated federal civil service or Congressional retirement benefits to receive Veterans Administration compensation; and

WHEREAS, A statutory change is necessary to correct this injustice and discrimination in order to insure that America's commitment to national and international goals be matched by the same allegiance to those who sacrificed on behalf of those goals; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby urges the United States Congress to amend title ten, United States Code relating to the compensation of retired military, permitting concurrent receipt of military retired pay and Veterans Administration compensation, including dependents allowances; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, Senate Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. Congress, Speaker of the House, Committee Chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee and Veterans Affairs Committee, House Committee Chairman, National Security and Veterans Affairs Committee, and each member of the Rhode Island Delegation to Congress.

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