Sending Office: Honorable Daniel Lipinski
Sent By:
Christopher.Baylor@mail.house.gov

 

Request for Cosponsor(s)

Current Original Cosponsors: Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Mike Bost (R-IL), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA),  J. Luis Correa (D-CA), Daniel Donovan (R-NY), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Marcy
Kaptur (D-OH), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Donald Payne (D-VA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Amata Radewagen (R-AS), Jaime Raskin
(D-MD), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Darren Soto (D-FL), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

Dear Colleague:

The Purple Heart is the oldest honor that members of our military are given and it is awarded to those who have been wounded or died in combat fighting for the United States. Since the modern incarnation of the award was established in 1932, approximately
1.8 million members of the military have received the Purple Heart. These brave men and women and their families deserve our utmost gratitude. It is our duty as a nation to not only to say that we appreciate their service but also to enact policies demonstrating
that gratitude.

Currently, only Active Duty, Retirees, and veterans with 100 percent disability rating—and in certain situations Reservist, National Guard, and DoD Civilian employees—are allowed to use the Defense Commissaries and Exchange stores. The Purple Heart and Disabled
Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 would extend access to DoD commissaries and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities to Purple Heart recipients, all disabled veterans with a service-connected disability, Medal of Honor recipients, former prisoners
of war, and veteran caregivers. They would be allowed to use these facilities, expanding access to services and reducing living expenses. Commissaries are grocery/department stores on military installations that sell food and some household items and the Defense
Commissary Agency (DeCA) operates them around the world. MWR facilities offer a range of services on bases from libraries, outdoor recreation, dining, golf courses, and sports and fitness centers. The military considers access to these areas an earned benefit
and we should all agree that Purple Heart recipients and disabled veterans have done more than enough to earn that access.

According to the DoD, there are more than 3 million veterans with a 0-90 percent rating who are not currently eligible for commissary and MWR access benefits. Purple Heart recipients without a service-connected disability rating would add an additional small
number above this level. Access to facilities for all disabled veterans and Purple Heart recipients can be determined by using the Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC), which indicates service connected disability and/or whether they are a Purple Heart
recipient.

This simple action would make Purple Heart recipients, disabled veterans and their caregivers’ lives a little easier for them at home. For these reasons the Military Order of the Purple Heart has endorsed the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access
Act of 2018. Please join us in supporting our courageous Purple Heart and disabled veterans and extend the earned benefit of access to Department of Defense commissary and MWR locations by cosponsoring the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act
of 2018.

If you would like to cosponsor the bill, or if you have any questions, please contact
Chris Baylor with Rep. Daniel Lipinski, at 5-57246 or
Raymond Celeste with Rep. Walter Jones 5-3415.

Sincerely,

 

Daniel W. Lipinski

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Veterans
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