MOAA’s work to preserve and protect earned benefits not only addresses the needs of servicemembers past and present and their families, but it also works to strengthen the future force, President and CEO Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), explained on a recent podcast and syndicated radio program.
“What an important cause for us to take care of the military community and make sure those who are serving today and those who have served recommend service for those who we need to serve tomorrow,” Kelly told Lt. Col. Denny Gillem, USA (Ret), a Life Member of MOAA and host of Frontlines of Freedom, which airs on about 200 affiliates nationwide and in podcast form.
[LISTEN TO THE EPISODE: Interview Begins at 11:40]
Kelly stressed the importance of those in uniform, retirees, veterans, military family members, and survivors having positive experiences connected to service, allowing them to promote continued service to the next generation amid an ongoing recruiting crisis.
“We want them to say to the next generation of folks, ‘Yes, my experience was great. My country, my nation kept their commitments and took care of me both while I was serving and after.’” Kelly told Gillem, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., who served with the 1st Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam during his more than two decades in uniform.
Kelly highlighted two MOAA advocacy priorities as examples of how protecting current benefits can show future military members they will be provided for as part of their commitment to the nation:
- The Major Richard Star Act, legislation that would end an unjust offset for more than 50,000 combat-injured veterans who lose a dollar of their DoD retirement pay for every dollar of VA disability pay received. (Learn More | Take Action Today)
- Efforts to restore the full Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for those in uniform, allowing them to find appropriate housing despite inflation and reversing a DoD policy which forces military families to pay 5% of their housing costs out of pocket — often more, depending on local property prices. (Read MOAA’s Issue Paper | Take Action Today)
“Many of our younger servicemembers and families find it harder to find affordable housing,” Kelly told Gillem. “It’s time for that [full BAH] to be restored, that those members and families … get their full housing benefits.”
For more about MOAA’s current advocacy efforts, including how you can register to take part in upcoming campaigns and spread the word to your network, visit MOAA’s Legislative Action Center. For more information on those campaigns and other MOAA legislative priorities, visit MOAA’s Advocacy News page.
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