IAVA Calls on Congress to Support Mil Families with 21st Century Legislation
Vets stand with Sens. Blunt and Gillibrand to advocate for Military Family Stability Act
WASHINGTON (October 6, 2015) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, announces its full support of the Military Family Stability Act (MFSA) sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). The MFSA provides necessary reforms to ensure military families obtain the stability they deserve amid frequent moves, enabling them to live normal lives. IAVA Legislative Associate Elizabeth Welke joined Sens. Blunt and Gillibrand for the bill’s introduction today at the Capitol Visitor Center.
“Often forgotten by the public, military families continue to sacrifice their personal goals and freedoms in support of their loved ones serving our country around the world,” said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and Founder of IAVA. “IAVA has been at the forefront of advocating for veteran and military families since 2004 and we are proud to stand with Senators Blunt and Gillibrand to introduce bipartisan legislation that will finally bring military policies out of the 1950s and provide military families with the modern infrastructure, protection and opportunities they deserve.“
The MFSA would add stability to a typically chaotic period experienced by military families, on average every two to three years, by providing up to six months of geographic stability either before or after a service member’s permanent change of station (PCS) report date. Key provisions include:
- Allowing military spouses to continue working for up to six months in their current job, or move early to the next location to pursue job opportunities;
- Enabling military spouses to complete degree, certification or license granting programs within six-months before moving to their next duty station;
- Allowing military dependent children to remain in their current school, or move early to the next duty location to begin school during a natural summer or Christmas break;
- Increasing flexibility for those caring for a family member with a chronic or long-term illness;
Providing dependents with their housing allowance at the ‘with dependents’ rate for their location, with service member provided housing or compensation at their location; and,
- Requiring Department of Defense-wide enforcement, to ensure parity among services.
The legislation recognizes that service members do not serve alone and attempts to give families flexibility to make their transitions less stressful.