August 25th, 2010

Stop Loss of Benefits for our Soldiers

      A little less than two months remain for service members, veterans and beneficiaries of service members to file a claim for “stop loss” benefits. October 21st is the final day for submission for these benefits, and only 30% of those eligible nationwide for this special pay have turned in their claim. 
     Stop loss refers to military service which was involuntary extended, and service members who entered this status anytime between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009 are eligible for up to $500 for each month they were in this stop loss status.
     Over 180,000 soldiers were retained beyond their enlistment contracts during this time period. The sacrifices that came from this extended active service can never be fully understood by those who did not experience it. Too many of our brave men and women on the brink of returning home never made that final journey as expected. Too many came home injured. They say that in war, there are no unwounded soldiers. From those that sacrificed their health for their country, to those who served at the expense of postponed weddings, missed births and delayed college or work plans, we owe much more than can ever be repaid. Although the retroactive special payment is but a pittance compared to the cost of a month’s stay in war-time status, it is a small symbol of appreciation to our service men and women.
     If you are a service member, veteran or beneficiary who is eligible for this benefit, I strongly encourage you to apply as soon as possible. If you know of someone who served as a soldier, sailor, airmen or Marine during this period, ask if they ever entered stop loss status and tell them about this benefit. You can find more information and apply online at the U.S. Department of Defense website