Wyden and Brown Reintroduce “Gold Star Fathers” Act
Bill would provide parity for single fathers whose children are killed in action or permanently and totally disabled
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), today reintroduced the Gold Star Fathers Act, legislation that would extend the same federal hiring preference to fathers that is currently available to mothers of servicemembers killed in action or permanently and totally disabled.
Parents whose children are killed in action are referred to as “Gold Star parents” because they traditionally display a Gold Star flag as a symbol for their loss and sacrifice. The federal government has long recognized the sacrifice of Gold Star families by granting unmarried and separated Gold Star mothers – and unmarried and separated mothers of totally and permanently disabled veterans – a 10-point hiring preference when they apply for federal jobs.
The Gold Star Fathers Act would make this preference gender neutral, extending it to unmarried or separated fathers of servicemembers killed in action or totally and permanently disabled.
“Every American killed or disabled in combat represents a sacrifice made by his or her family,” Wyden said. “Nobody can end this grief, but what we can – and must – do is ensure that the federal government recognizes these mothers and fathers who have given so much for this country.”
“When a servicemember is killed in action or permanently and totally disabled, the government should do its part to be there for grieving parents—no matter if they’re fathers or mothers,” Brown said. “The Senate passed this legislation last year by unanimous consent but the House failed to act. It’s time we honor the sacrifice of Gold Star fathers by passing this legislation and ensuring that fathers receive the same preferences as mothers and spouses.”
The bill passed the Senate in 2014, but had to be reintroduced at the start of the new Congress, which began Tuesday.
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