Sending Office: Honorable Daniel Lipinski
Cosponsors: Lipinski, Jones, Bordallo, Bost, Brownley, Capuano, Clarke, Cohen, Correa, Susan Davis, DeFazio, Diaz Barragan, Dingell,
Donovan, Fortenberry, Gaetz, Gallego, Gonzalez, Grijalva, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Hank Johnson, Kaptur, Kilmer,
Kinzinger, Kuster, Shelia Jackson Lee, Lynch, Sean Patrick Maloney, McGovern,
Moolenaar, Moulton, Neal, Norman, Norton, O’Halleran, Payne, Peterson, Pingree,
Poliquin, Raskin, Radewagen, Rosen, Rush, Tim Ryan, Scott, Shea-Porter, Sinema, Soto, Suozzi, Mike Thompson, Vela, Velazquez, Watson Coleman, Frederica Wilson
We are asking for your support for H.R. 5467, the Purple Heart and Disabled Veteran Equal Access Act.
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
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
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, the Association of the U.S. Navy, the Veterans of Foreign Wars,
the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Wounded Warrior Project have 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.
Daniel W. Lipinski Walter Jones
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0