Equal Rights for Remote Combat Veterans

Equal Rights for Remote Combat Veterans

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Bennett Miller started this petition to Representative Nancy Pelosi and

As a medically retired active duty service member after 10 years of service, I now have seen the red tape affecting veterans and receiving benefits that they should have. I served as an intelligence operations supervisor in the MQ-9 community ("drones") engaged in remote combat in the CENTCOM AOR. I was stateside conducting intelligence gathering and battle damage assessment of missions and airstrikes happening overseas. In May 2020, due to work events and stress I attempted suicide as a husband and father of two children under 5 from an inability to cope with the combat exposure and realities of still living at home and not in a deployed environment. 

When I was diagnosed with PTSD, MDD and insomnia, my medical team documented that it was induced due to events experienced over a long period of time involving remote combat operations. However, when I received my medical retirement declaration from the US Air Force, they determined that my medical conditions were not combat related according to 26 USC 104. In that law, because remote combat is not listed, any mental health injury induced from involvement in remote combat operations will never be considered "combat related". Due to this law, myself and thousands of other veterans are not entitled to apply for Combat Related Special Compensation, and therefore are required to forfeit our retirement pay from the Department of Defense in order to receive disability payment from the VA. 

If you support equal rights for remote combat veterans, like myself, please sign this petition and share it for the addition of "remote combat" to 26 USC 104. The USAF has approved the Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal, of which I have two. This should serve as a template for adding language to the law.

Also, encourage your state congress to continue to push HR. 303 into law this year in Washington so that ALL medically retired veterans are entitled to their hard earned retirement pensions calculated based on time in service or retired pay grade and DoD disability rating.  

Thank you for your time,

Bennett Miller, TSgt, USAF

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!