November 7, 2007 – Today, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee led by Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA), approved H.R. 3882, the Fair Benefits for Guard and Reserve Act. The bill assists our nation’s Guard and Reserve forces in obtaining active duty education benefits for their extended service in Iraq .
H.R. 3882 would change the length of service on active duty required for receiving certain education benefits. The bill seeks to correct a problem that was recognized as a result of the mobilization of the Minnesota National Guard. Currently, to qualify for Active Duty Chapter 30 benefits, a member must be obligated for a two year term and serve 20 continuous months. H.R. 3882 still requires 20 months of service but changes the obligated term to less than three years, which would allow the Guard members to receive Active Duty benefits. The bill, introduced by Timothy Walz (D-MN), was approved with a technical amendment by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and will next be heard on the House Floor.
“Today, we find our Guard and Reserve Forces being utilized in extended missions across the globe to include supporting missions in Iraq and Afghanistan ,” said Chairman Filner. “Many times they find themselves deployed for the same period of time as many active duty service members for periods surpassing what their original orders might have designated. Unfortunately, many of our Guard and Reserve forces are returning to find themselves falling a few days short of eligibility to receive active duty education benefits while others in the same unit are eligible. H.R. 3882 corrects this problem in fairness to our servicemembers.”