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Begich Seeks Travel Privileges for Surviving Spouses and Reservists


Bill will improve access to unused seats on military aircraft

Answering a call from retirees of the Natural Guard and Reserve, their families, and surviving military spouses, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – S.C.)   have re-introduced legislation to grant these groups improved access to space-available travel on Department of Defense aircraft.

The National Guard, Reserve, “Gray Area” Retiree and Surviving Spouse Space-Available Travel Equity Act is a budget-neutral piece of legislation which provides members of the National Guard and Reserve, “gray area” retirees (National Guardsman or Reservist eligible for retirement but under the age of 60) and surviving spouses the same access to empty or unused seats on military aircraft as active duty military members.

“Alaska’s military community has repeatedly brought this issue to my attention and I’m proud to answer their call,” Begich said. “Members and retirees of the National Guard and Reserve, their families, and surviving military spouses make great sacrifices for our nation. Too often however these individuals do not receive the benefits they deserve for their service. This bill is a way of recognizing their contributions to our nation.”

The bipartisan bill has fifteen original cosponsors: Senators Scott Brown (R – Mass.), Joe Manchin (D – W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska), Pat Leahy (D – Vt.), Olympia Snowe (R – Maine), Kelly Ayotte (R – N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D – N.Y.), Jon Tester (D – Mont.), Tom Udall (D – N.M.), Amy Klobuchar (D – Minn.), Dan Akaka (D – Hawaii), Ben Nelson (D – Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R- Iowa), Mark Pryor (D – Ark.) and Robert Casey (D – Pa.).


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