IMMEDIATE RELEASE





Press Release

October 29, 2003

No. 03-41

Contact:
Mokie Porter

(240) 485-1600 or
(301) 585-4000
Ext. 146


Vietnam Veterans of America Rejects Congressional Concurrent Receipt Compromise

(Washington, D.C.) – The following excerpts a letter sent today by Thomas H. Corey, national president of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), to members of Congress.

The compromise announced last week by the congressional leadership to end the prohibition against concurrent receipt, also known as the Disabled Veterans Tax, will succeed only in dividing veterans.  If agreed to in conference, this initiative will create confusion and voluminous paperwork.  It will quickly become a bureaucratic horror story, as the Department of Defense will have to determine how much of a retiree’s disability is deemed to have been combat-related. 

This is a bad idea, borne of political expediency, to make an embarrassing issue go away.  For more than one hundred years, the law has levied a 100 percent tax on the retirement pay of military retirees receiving disability compensation.  A disability incurred while serving one’s country, whether in combat, in a combat zone, or in a support role far from the field of battle, is still a disability.  Its cause is immaterial; its effect is not. 

VVA applauds the commitment of Representatives Mike Bilirakis (R-FL), Jim Marshall (D-GA), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to facilitate a resolution to the issue.  While the compromise would be a $22 billion down payment on a long-standing debt and would make Reserve and National Guard career retirees eligible for relief, VVA believes the bottom line is basic:  Give all disabled military retirees what they’ve earned and what they deserve. Pass the original bill, H.R. 303, The Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2003. 

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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