Rep. Waltz Urges Veterans’ Affairs Committee to Pass Bill for Gold Star Families
Washington, DC, October 22, 2019
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz addressed the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to urge support for his legislation to increase benefits for Gold Star Families. H.R. 1911, the SFC Brian Woods Gold Star Military and Survivors Act, would allow survivors to remarry and continue to have access to military survivor benefits.
“The families of our servicemembers wait for their loved one’s safe return, anxiously awaiting to hear their voice and feeling the comfort of their warm embrace once more. Unfortunately, for some, the knock on their door instead initiates them into a fraternity no family wants to join,” Waltz said. “That chilling knock changes them forever and makes them part of the Gold Star family.”
Under current law, if a Gold Star spouse remarries prior to turning 55, they lose their Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) benefits and Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits.
Waltz’s bill allows surviving spouses to move forward with their lives, allowing them to remarry without fear of losing the benefits owed to them from their prior spouse’s noble sacrifice.
“As a combat veteran and Green Beret, this is personal for me,” Waltz said. “This is also a strategic issue for our volunteer military. We are 18 years into the War on Terror. I strongly believe we are in a multi-generational war. This is a team effort on these constant deployments and they are constantly deciding whether to continue to deploy. If our family support starts cracking, the entire foundation of our modern military is in trouble.”
A video of Waltz’s full remarks is available here.