Letters | Reichert: 'I support our military heroes'
September 13, 2012 · 1:59 PM
As a former Air Force Reservist and police officer, the commitment to America’s men and women in uniform has long been a priority in my life and career. Giving our veterans and active duty service members their due is a fundamental obligation of our federal government. The families of our fallen soldiers deserve equal respect and support. When we sign up a soldier, we enlist the entire family.
Military parents, children, and spouses have supported our troops through multiple deployments. These families take on a tremendous burden, in exchange for our freedom. They sacrifice certainty over their own futures, so we can remain certain that our country is safe and secure. Many of our brave men and women overseas are able to serve so courageously because of the support, resilience, and devotion they receive at home. With stronger families come stronger soldiers. That is why I continue to fight in Congress to ensure our soldiers and their dedicated families have the resources they need and the benefits they deserve to keep our country strong.
One of the greatest problems facing Gold Star Families is the so-called “widow’s tax,” which prevents families who have lost a loved one in a service-connected tragedy from receiving all of the benefits they are entitled to. That is why I have continually supported the Military Surviving Spouse Equity Act (H.R. 178), which would allow the families of fallen warriors to receive both disability pay and retirement pay concurrently. Eliminating the “widow’s tax” is the least our country can do to alleviate the heavy burden and sacrifice these heroic families have made on our behalf.
I have also helped pass bills in the House that have been enacted into law to help non-profits provide homes for homeless vets, to help with their health benefits, to continue their education and to increase their employment opportunities.
Our fallen heroes, wounded warriors, and proud veterans have all done more for us than we can ever repay them for, and they have asked so little in return. These brave warriors stood in the trenches and put their lives on the line for their neighbors and their beloved country. Each of us owes them, and their families, a debt of gratitude.
U.S. Rep, Eighth District