This Veterans Day, Ask Congress to Support Our Combat Injured

This Veterans Day, Ask Congress to Support Our Combat Injured
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In a year that has witnessed tragedy in Afghanistan, leaving countless veterans and families with moral injury, the Senate will consider an important amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to support combat-injured servicemembers.


[TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Lawmakers to Support the Major Richard Star Act]


Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) have introduced the Major Richard Star Act as an amendment to the NDAA – Senate Amendment 3984 to H.R. 4350 would support over 48,000 combat injured with medical retired pay and VA disability payments concurrently. Under current law, these combat injured (and often seriously disabled) veterans are subject to an offset where their medical retirement pay is reduced for every dollar of VA disability received.


Servicemembers forced to retire because they were injured in combat – like Maj. Richard Star, USAR, who passed away earlier this year – had their retirement pay significantly reduced. 


Support for the Star Act has grown to over 53 senators and 138 House members. Congress has long acknowledged the problem of concurrent receipt, and military and veterans service organizations across the country have weighed in to support the Star Act.


A letter from The Military Coalition – a group of organizations including MOAA representing nearly 5.5 million members of the uniformed service community – to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership summed up the issue: “Military retired pay is an earned benefit for vested years of service. Service-connected disability compensation is for injury. To deny retired pay because of a disability is an injustice.”




Time is Short – Make Your Voice Heard

It remains important to contact your senators and ask them to support SA 3984. Remind them the larger uniformed services community asks for their support.


Concurrent receipt is part of an important advocacy campaign. In 2004, MOAA and The Military Coalition secured concurrent receipt for retirees who served at least 20 years and have a VA disability rating at 50% or higher. Left behind after that 2004 change are 20-year retirees with a 40% disability rating and below, and those who were medically retired under Chapter 61 with less than 20 years of service. 


Senate NDAA amendments will be considered in the next few weeks. Because time is short, call (866) 272-MOAA (6622), MOAA's toll-free line to the U.S. Capitol switchboard, to be connected with your senators’ offices and ask them to support SA 3984, the Major Richard Star Act.


There are still many lawmakers who would support this legislation if they heard from constituents. Click these links to see whether your senators or your House members support this legislation.


You can follow further updates on MOAA's advocacy mission at Get more background on MOAA's efforts to address concurrent receipt at


MOAA Looks Out For You

MOAA is committed to protecting the rights of servicemembers and their families. Lend your voice and support these efforts today. Because the larger our voice is, the greater our impact will be.


About the Author

Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)
Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)

Belinsky retired in 2019 after serving 22 years, with overseas tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. He joined the MOAA team in 2019 as Director, Currently Serving and Retired Affairs.