[Ohio-talk] Fwd: Reply from Senator Sherrod Brown

Richard Payne rchpay7 at gmail.com
Fri May 20 18:45:17 UTC 2016



Richard Payne president national Federation of the blind of Ohio

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Sherrod Brown" <Senator_Brown at brown.senate.gov>
> Date: May 20, 2016 at 2:34:33 PM EDT
> To: rchpay7 at gmail.com
> Subject: Reply from Senator Sherrod Brown
> 
> 
> Dear Mr. Payne:
>  
> Thank you for getting in touch with me about legislation regarding Space-Available (or “Space-A”) travel for our nation’s disabled veterans.
>  
> Space-A travel allows eligible passengers to fill unused seats on Department of Defense (DOD) -owned or controlled aircraft. It is a unique privilege awarded to servicemembers, retirees, and their families.
>  
> However, not all servicemembers and military family members qualify for Space-A travel. In the recent past, Reserve members only qualified for standard Space-A privileges when on active duty.
>  
> The Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act included a budget-neutral, widely supported provision to expand Space-A for all retirees, including “gray area” retirees and members of the Reserve components, as well as their surviving spouses and dependents.
>  
> The Space-A rules are administered by DOD regulations rather than authorized by law. This provision allowed the Secretary of Defense to establish a “priority order” with the purpose of considering military needs and readiness while ensuring the Space-A benefit is equally applied across-the-board to all those who served, along with their families and survivors.
>  
> In March, 2014, a number of Senators, led by Senator Begich, wrote to the Defense Department urging it to expand Space-A travel. I was proud to sign this letter to Secretary Hagel. On February 25, 2016, Senator Heller introduced legislation before the Senate Committee on Armed Services to extend Space-A travel on military aircraft to veterans with a permanent disability rated as total.
>  
> I am proud to support our nation’s servicemembers, and I will certainly keep your advocacy in mind as this issue comes before the Senate. Thank you again for being in touch with me.
>  
>                                                             Sincerely,
>  
>                                                             Sherrod Brown
>                                                             United States Senator
>  
>  
>  
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