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Begich & Young Seek Equity for Surviving Spouses and Reservists

Begich & Young Seek Equity for Surviving Spouses and Reservists

Legislation would enhance space-available travel privileges on military aircraft

Responding to the requests of Alaska members and retirees of the National Guard and Reserve, their families, and surviving military spouses, U.S. Senator Mark Begich and U.S. Representative Don Young today reintroduced legislation providing these groups the same space-available privileges on Department of Defense aircraft available to active duty service members.

Introduced in the Senate and House today, the National Guard, Reserve, “Gray Area” Retiree and Surviving Spouse Space-Available Travel Equity Act would allow members and retirees of the reserve component to travel in empty or unused seats on military aircraft on the same basis as their active duty counter parts.

Additionally, this bill gives eligible surviving spouses military aircraft travel privileges. Currently, surviving spouses retain no space-available travel privileges after the death of their loved ones.

“I want to thank Alaska’s military community for bringing this inequity to our attention and working with us to promote this legislation,” Begich said. “Our reserve component members are vital to our communities and are no longer a strategic reserve force, they are fighting alongside our active duty troops. Providing National Guard and Reserve and their families with space-available travel privileges is a small and justified way to recognize the sacrifices they make every day on our behalf. By giving this benefit to our surviving spouses, we make good on our promise to never forget the sacrifices made by military families. ”

“I am proud to reintroduce this legislation,” said Rep. Young.  “Just because a member is in the Reserves, does not mean they are not active in the fight to support and protect our great country.  These men and women made the decision a long time ago to put their lives on the line in defense of their homeland, and benefits like these may serve as a token of our appreciation.”

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