CAPT Marshall Hanson
ROA recently had a series of meetings on Capitol Hill.
MG David Bockel, USA, ROA Executive Director met with Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.). The first topic of discussion was how ROA could support Rep. Wilson's efforts to correct the current law on early retirement back to Sept 11, 2001, which was introduced as H.R. 208 last year. One of the top priorities of ROA, MG Bockel discussed with the Congressman ways of offsetting the $2.1 billion that it would cost over the next 10 years. "Pay Go" continues to dominate the rules on passing legislation in the House.
Several meetings were held on Rep. Tim Walz's (D-Minn.) bill, H.R. 3787, that would authorize veteran status to National Guard and Reserve members who qualify for retirement after 20 years, but never were activated long enough to meet federal statute as a veteran. The meeting, where ROA joined other Guard and Reserve associations, was held with staff members of Rep. Walz's office to discuss strategies to offset the $5 million cost over ten years which has stymied the bill. Several new approaches were suggested in the meeting. A follow-up meeting was held with Rep. Steve Buyer's (R-Ind.) office to discuss the congressman's support the legislation.
On the Senate side, ROA and other associations in The Military Coalition Guard and Reserve subcommittee met with the staff of Senator Blanche Lincoln's (D-Ark.) to discuss their version of the veterans status bill, S. 1780, and also improvements to the Post 9/11 GI Bill.