Lipinski and Jones Introduce Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act

Reps. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) and Walter Jones (NC-3) have introduced legislation to honor Purple Heart recipients and other American heroes by giving them access to Department of Defense commissaries and recreation facilities.  The Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 would extend access to commissaries and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities to Purple Heart recipients, all veterans with a service-connected disability, Medal of Honor recipients, former prisoners of war, and veteran caregivers. 

“The military considers access to these areas an earned benefit and we should all agree that Purple Heart recipients, disabled veterans, and other heroes of our armed forces have done more than enough to earn that access,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “These brave men and women and their families deserve our utmost gratitude.  It is our duty as a nation to not only say that we appreciate their service but also to enact policies such as this demonstrating that gratitude. I thank Congressman Jones for joining me in introducing this legislation and for all the work he does to honor the men and women in our armed services.” 

Commissaries are grocery/department stores on military installations that sell food and some household items.  MWR facilities offer a range of services on bases including libraries, outdoor recreation, dining, golf courses, and sports and fitness centers.

“I have the honor and privilege of representing over 85,000 veterans in Eastern North Carolina, of which over 2,000 have a service-connected disability and many have been awarded a Purple Heart,” said Congressman Jones.  “To all those who have bravely and valiantly served this country, often resulting in debilitating injuries, we owe a debt of immense gratitude.  But that is not enough.  It is time we as a nation double down on efforts to improve the lives of those veterans and their families.  I am very proud to introduce the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act with Congressman Lipinski, and hope our colleagues will promptly support this legislation.”

The Purple Heart is the oldest honor that members of the United States military are given and it is awarded to those who have been wounded or died in combat fighting for the U.S.  Since the modern incarnation of the award was established in 1932, approximately 1.8 million members of the military have received the Purple Heart.

This legislation has been endorsed by many individuals and organizations, including the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Association of the U.S. Navy, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

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