In a significant move last week, the House Armed Services Committee approved the Major Richard Star Ac t, signifying a critical milestone for the legislation. Veterans forced to retire due to combat injuries have been denied retirement compensation, and it is time we ask Congress to finally correct this injustice. The American Legion needs your help to get this critical piece of legislation onto the House floor for a vote!
The Major Richard Star Act would support more than 50,000 combat-injured veterans by allowing concurrent receipt of vested longevity pay and VA disability. This legislation would end an unjust “tax” on medically retired veterans who are currently subject to an offset in retirement pay for every dollar of VA disability received. These medically retired veterans are the only class of employees forbidden from receiving their full retirement pay and disability compensation. Retirement and disability are two programs with two very different intents provided for very different reasons. No other class of employees are told they are “double dipping” when they receive retirement and disability concurrently.
The American Legion strongly supports ending this policy through the Major Richard Star Act , which would repeal this unfair offset and allow disabled veterans to receive both their retirement pay and their disability compensation. In the House, 319 co-sponsors have signed onto the bill, with 122 Republicans and 197 Democrats. In the Senate, 66 co-sponsors have signed on, with 22 Republicans and 42 Democrats. This type of bipartisan and bicameral support is unprecedented.
Major Richard A. Star was a father, a husband, and a highly decorated veteran who, due to his combat-related injuries, was forced to medically retire from the Army. His plans for disability care were disrupted when he learned that his disability pay would offset the longevity pay he had earned through years in service. Sadly, Major Star lost his battle with cancer on February 13, 2021.
The time is now to honor his memory and pass this piece of legislation!