Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined the Major Richard Star Act, which Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) introduced. The bill would allow combat-injured veterans with fewer than 20 years of military service to receive full retirement benefits—without reduction—concurrent with their disability compensation.

“Louisiana and America’s brave veterans are underserved because they’re not able to receive both retirement and disability compensation. It is only right that our combat veterans are able to retire peacefully with full benefits for their sacrifices,” said Kennedy.

Currently, only veterans with over 20 years of military service and a 50% or more disabled rating can qualify to receive Department of Defense retirement and Department of Veterans Affairs disability payments concurrently.

“I will always demand our nation’s veterans receive the full benefits they’ve earned, especially those who were forced to retire from military service as a result of their injuries. Prior to his passing, I was proud to work with Major Richard Star to address an injustice that prevents thousands of veterans living with the wounds of war from accessing what they’ve earned. The Major Richard Star Act is a top priority for me, and I’ll continue to take on anyone in Washington to get it passed and provide veterans the benefits and dignity they deserve,” said Tester.

Major Richard Star was a decorated war veteran after whom this legislation is named. Major Star retired due to combat related injuries and passed away from cancer in 2021. 

“More than 50,000 veterans, including hundreds in Idaho, could benefit from the Major Richard Star Act. To honor the service of all veterans and Major Star’s enduring legacy, we must meet the responsibility of ensuring these combat-injured veterans receive the full benefits they have earned. Reducing retirement pay because of a combat disability is an injustice that must be corrected,” said Crapo. 

The full bill text is available here.