Sen. Blumenthal, lawmakers push bill for medal of honor recipient pensions

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WTNH) — U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), and Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) in introducing a bill that would increase pensions for Medal of Honor recipients.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.

The senators noted these American heroes often attend and speak at events about their military service at their own expense. This increase will allow them to tell their stories even more broadly. In addition, it’s been fifteen years since the last stipend increase was passed in 2002.

Currently, there are 72 living Medal of Honor recipients.

“Medal of Honor recipients are a model of service and sacrifice that should inspire all of us to aim higher and do better. Supporting this small group of brave servicemen and women is simply the right thing to do,” said Blumenthal.

“Medal of Honor recipients represent the best among us. These heroes have served our country with distinction, and this modest increase is the least we can do to convey our gratitude for their sacrifices.  I urge my colleagues to support this bill so that we can do right by our Medal of Honor recipients,” said Graham.

“We can never repay our Medal of Honor recipients for everything they’ve done for our country. But we can and should support them on behalf of a grateful nation,” said Cotton.

“These brave men and women are our heroes’ heroes. We are committed to honoring and providing for our nation’s greatest servicemembers who went above and beyond the call of duty with no thought to reward or personal safety,” said Markey.

The Graham-Cotton-Blumenthal-Markey bill would:

·         Increase the Medal of Honor pension from $1,303.51 to $3,000 a month.

·         Provide necessary funding to allow Medal of Honor recipients to share their personal stories in even more character development programs and speaking engagements.

·         Cost approximately $15 million over a 10-year period.

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