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Congress passes Arrington's veterans bill named after West Texas Navy SEAL
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal - 12/22/2020
U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington's bill named in honor of his friend and Navy SEAL Bill Mulder is heading to the president's desk.
Included in H.R. 7105, the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, which Congress passed last week, is all the provisions of H.R. 2326, the Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William "Bill" Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act legislation.
Mulder died in Boerne, Texas in June 2017 - just months following his retirement from the Navy in January 2017 after a distinguished twenty-year career as a US Navy SEAL, according to an obituary. Mulder had been raised in Plainview, also Arrington's hometown.
Arrington first introduced this legislation in 2017. The bill, according to Arrington's office, would make improvements to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the overall transition process for servicemembers to include more of a focus on career opportunities and entrepreneurship.
"If we're going to maintain the greatest fighting force in all the world, we need to make sure we do right by our active duty military men and women as they transition to civilian life and being a veteran," Arrington said. "Passing this legislation that will engage our active duty military earlier in the process, before venturing into civilian life, to equip them and empower them with education and opportunities for jobs and employment and to connect them with their brothers and sisters, fellow veterans in the community."
The bill restructures TAP to require servicemembers choose specific career-oriented tracks, requires servicemembers take part in one-on-one counseling a year prior to separation, and authorizes a five-year pilot program that would provide matching grant funds to community providers that offer wraparound transition services to veterans and transitioning servicemembers, according to Arrington's office.
"This reform effort will help our beloved warriors have a healthier and more productive transition from active duty to civilian life and reduce the unique challenges our veterans face like addiction, homelessness, and suicide as they leave the military," Arrington said on Twitter last week. "This is for you, Bill... and for your wife, Sydney, and your children: Nina, Jake, and Sam... and for all our veterans and their families!"
H.R. 7105 is heading to President Donald Trump's desk for signature.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Congress passes Arrington's veterans bill named after West Texas Navy SEAL
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