All active duty and retired military personnel deserve to receive the full care and benefits they have earned. When Major Richard A. Star, namesake and champion of S. 344, the Major Richard Star Act, passed away last year after a long fight against cancer, our country lost a resolute leader in ensuring veterans receive the benefits they have earned. Major Star was a father, husband and decorated war veteran who, as a result of his combat-related injuries, was medically retired. In honor of his legacy and with deep respect for his fellow veterans and military families, we continue pursuing every possible opportunity to enact this needed legislation.

I recently joined Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Montana) in filing the Major Richard Star Act as an amendment to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This would ensure medically retired and combat-injured veterans receive both military retired pay and disability compensation earned through their service to our country. Since we introduced the stand-alone bill, S. 344, in February of 2021 along with Committee Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and more than 40 original cosponsors, including fellow U.S. Senator for Idaho Jim Risch, the legislation has steadily gained support. The Major Richard Star Act now has commanding Senate support, with 67 Senate cosponsors. Also, the House companion bill, H.R. 1282, has 319 cosponsors, including Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).

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