Waltz Introduces Gold Star Families Transport Act

Waltz Introduces Gold Star Families Transport Act

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
September 28, 2023

Florida Rep. Mike Waltz (R) is seeking to alleviate the financial stresses of veterans. In a bipartisan effort, Waltz has introduced the Abbey Gate Gold Star Families Dignified Transport Act. The bill would reduce the financial burden on families that have tragically lose a loved one in the act of duty.

Introduced alongside Florida Reps. Cory Mills (R) and Seth Moulton (D), the legislation would expand upon the previous effort from Waltz and Moulton to have the Pentagon cover the cost to transport a servicemember’s remains to a second location if the second location is a National cemetery.

In a statement, Waltz shared that “as a combat veteran, I think we can agree that the Gold Star families of our fallen must be cared by providing them the lifelong benefits worthy of their sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”

He explained that “the intent of this benefit is to provide grieving families, friends, and communities the dignity to honor their fallen heroes with a memorial service in their hometowns, before going to their final place of rest at a national cemetery.”

In introducing the bill, Waltz said that the lawmakers sought “to help alleviate this financial burden while honoring the families of the 13 U.S. service men and women who lost their lives at Abbey Gate in Kabul, Afghanistan.”

Moulton reminded that “every U.S. servicemember signs a blank check, payable with their lives.”

Because of this, “when tragedy strikes and a servicemember does not return home, no grieving family should ever be saddled with a bill for a hometown memorial service, even if it will be later reimbursed.”

The legislation clarifies Congressional intent by ensuring the Department covers the costs at the outset, which would reduce the stress on families during a difficult time.

Moulton and Waltz have previously partnered in introducing the SFC Brian Woods Gold Star and Military Survivors Act of 2019, which would expand benefits for Gold Star families, including repealing the remarriage penalty. Most of the provisions were included in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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