Governor Kevin Stitt today applauded Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK) for introducing legislation to support disabled National Guardsmen. The Supporting Disabled National Guardsmen Act (H.R. 4247), ensures those who are disabled while serving on State Active Duty have access to medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs and disability benefits from the Department of Defense.
“The brave men and women of our National Guard are always ready to answer the call to help their fellow citizens regardless of the location and they deserve the same protections whether they are serving in Oklahoma or abroad,” said Gov. Stitt. “I applaud Rep. Bice for introducing this legislation to support our heroes.”
Currently, National Guard members injured on State Active Duty do not qualify for VA health benefits nor DoD disability pension if they are no longer able to work. These servicemembers generally must rely on state workers’ compensation plans which are often significantly inferior to traditional military health and disability benefits.
“It’s our duty as a nation to provide high quality health and disability benefits to those who put their lives on the line to assist the citizens of this country whether that’s on an overseas battlefield or American soil,” said Rep. Bice.
Bice prioritized this legislation after hearing the story of Oklahoma National Guard Specialist Cody Casey, who was seriously injured in February while assisting stranded motorists during a winter storm in Vinita when his Humvee was struck by a semi.
Rep. Mikie Sherill (D-NY) coauthored the legislation with Bice. Additional original cosponsors include Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) and Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX).