Ricketts Co-Sponsors Act to Help Combat-Injured Veterans and Purple Heart Recipients
August 7, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) announced his support for the Major Richard Star Act. The bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) would provide full military benefits to medically retired combat-injured veterans with less than 20 years of service.
“Our women and men in uniform consistently put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms,” Ricketts said. “Our veterans injured in the line of duty should have full access to their full benefits. As we mark Purple Heart Day today, I am reminded of the sacrifices so many Nebraskans and Americans have made. The Major Richard Star Act is one of many ways to help and honor our service members.”
Ricketts has been a co-sponsor of the Major Richard Star Act since May. He also recently co-sponsored an amendment to have the bill added to the National Defense Authorization Act.
The Major Richard Star Act aims to alleviate decades of pay offset for 50,300 soldiers injured in combat, including 212 Nebraskans and Purple Heart Recipients.
Currently, only veterans with disability ratings above 50 percent and more than 20 years of service are eligible to receive the full amount of their Department of Defense (DoD) retirement and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability payments, leaving behind medically retired combat veterans with less than 20 years of service. The Major Richard Star Act will fix this policy for medically retired combat veterans by providing them with their full VA disability and DoD retirement payments. The bill builds on the Combat Related Special Compensation passed in 2004 which was a step to address the pay gap, but did not completely eliminate the gap.
This legislation is named in honor of Major Richard A. Star, a decorated war veteran who was forced to medically retire due to his combat-related injuries. Major Star sadly lost his battle with cancer on February 13, 2021.
To join Senator Ricketts’ press list, please click here.