Braille Monitor                                                March 2013

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Equal Access to Air Travel for Service-Disabled Veterans (HR 164)

The Space Available Program denies 100 percent of
Service-Disabled Veterans the opportunity to participate.

Discharged service-disabled veterans are not entitled to air travel privileges to which other members of the military have access. The Space Available Program allows members of the active military, some family members, Red Cross employees, and retired members of the armed services to travel on military aircraft if space is available. However, members of the military who are 100 percent service disabled do not qualify for this program because they do not fall into one of those categories.

This unintentional exclusion denies discharged service-disabled veterans a privilege to which they would be entitled had they not been disabled during service. Those service members who are disabled during active duty and are medically discharged do not have the chance to stay on active duty or fulfill the twenty years requirement to become qualified for this program. Had they not been medically discharged, 100 percent service-disabled veterans are likely to have served until retirement. These men and women have earned the right to space-available travel just as others have because they have defended our country.

Equal Access to Air Travel for Service-Disabled Veterans would:

Provide travel privileges to totally disabled veterans. This bill amends Title X of the U.S. Code, to permit veterans who have a service-connected, permanent disability rated as total to travel on military aircraft in the same manner and to the same extent as retired members of the Armed Forces entitled to such travel.

HONOR OUR SERVICE-DISABLED VETERANS WITH
PRIVILEGES THEY ARE ENTITLED TO.

Cosponsor HR 164.

To cosponsor the bill, contact:

Mirium Keim, Legislative Assistant
Office of Congressman Bilirakis (R-FL)
Phone: (202) 225-5755 email: mirium.keim@mail.house.gov

For more information contact:
Jesse Hartle, Government Affairs Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
Phone: (410) 659-9314, Extension 2233 email: <jhartle@nfb.org>

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