Bipartisan Major Richard Star Act would allow 42,000 combat-injured veterans to receive both disability compensation and retirement pay

February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) helped introduce the Major Richard Star Act, bipartisan legislation to provide combat-injured veterans with less than 20 years of military service their full benefits.

“It’s long overdue that these heroes – who could no longer continue serving due to injuries they sustained in combat – get the benefits they earned,” said Blunt. “This bill will help us honor these men and women for the significant sacrifices they made in their service to our nation. It’s critical that we get this legislation, which has strong support on both sides of the aisle and from leading veterans advocacy groups, through Congress and to the president’s desk.”

Currently, 42,000 military retirees with combat-related injuries qualify for retirement pay for their service from the Department of Defense and for disability compensation for injuries acquired in combat from the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, for retired veterans with less than 20 years of service, their disability pay is deducted from their retirement pay. The Major Richard Star Act would repeal this unfair offset, allowing disabled veterans to receive both their retirement pay and their disability compensation.

The bill is named in honor of Major Richard A. Star—a father, husband, and decorated war veteran who, as a result of his combat-related injuries, was medically retired. Major Star sadly lost his battle with cancer on February 13, 2021.

The Major Richard Star Act is backed by numerous Veterans Service Organizations, including the Military Coalition, Military Officers Association of America, Wounded Warrior Project, and Disabled American Veterans.

The bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (Mont.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), and Jerry Moran (Kan.). In addition to Blunt, the legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators John Barrasso (Wyo.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Robert Casey (Penn.), Susan Collins (Maine), Chris Coons (Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), John Hoeven (N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Patty Murray (Wash.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Rob Portman (Ohio), James Risch (Idaho), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), Tina Smith (Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Mark Warner (Va.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), and Ron Wyden (Ore.).