Senator Marco Rubio is making the call to have the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expand the funeral benefits they provide for veterans.
In a bipartisan effort, Senator Rubio teamed up with Democrat Senator Gary Peters to introduce the “Burial Rights for America’s Veterans’ Efforts (BRAVE) Act,” which aims to “update the current funeral and burial benefit system to treat all non-service connected deaths equally, regardless of where the veteran passes away.”
Commenting on the legislation, Senator Rubio expressed that “we will never be able to fully repay our veterans who have sacrificed so much defending our country, but we can ensure they have a proper funeral and burial no matter where they pass away.” The sunshine state Senator also addressed that, with this legislation, it will “ensure we properly honor all of America’s heroes with the honor and respect they deserve.”
His office also added that “veterans with no next of kin that pass away in a VA facility are currently provided greater funds to cover the costs of their funerals and burials than veterans who pass away in their home or another medical facility,” so addressing this concern a priority in the U.S. Senate.
So far, the bill has the support of Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Association of the United States Navy and the National Funeral Directors Association. In addition, it was sent to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and it has no counterpart in the U.S. House.
Peters echoed in Rubio’s remarks, adding that “it is our responsibility to ensure that our brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend our way of life receive the benefits they earned through their service, including a dignified burial.” Calling the current benefits system “inefficient and outdated,” Peters explained that the bill “will not only update these benefits, but also help ensure that our nation’s heroes have the funeral and burial they and their families deserve.”