Pappas Calls On President Trump To Ensure NH National Guard Members Receive Full Federal Benefits from COVID-19 Service

May 21, 2020
Press Release

MANCHESTER, NH - Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) released the following statement after it was reported that President Trump would end National Guard deployments of members deployed to assist with COVID-19 response just days before they would qualify for post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. 

“Members of the National Guard serving throughout New Hampshire are on the front lines of our fight against COVID-19 and we are deeply grateful for the service,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “It is unconscionable that our friends, family, and neighbors serving in uniform and putting their lives on the line would be nickel and dimed out of benefits that they have earned at a time when they need them most. I could not disagree more strongly with this petty decision and urge President Trump and the Department of Defense to reverse it immediately.”

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Trump Administration would stop to National Guard deployments on June 24, mere days before Guard members in New Hampshire and across the country would qualify for early retirement and education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI bill.

Congressman Pappas is an original co-sponsor of legislation that would extend federal benefits to National Guard soldiers who are deployed during the pandemic. He is also an original co-sponsor of upcoming legislation that would automatically grant benefits to anyone who served full-time guard duty in response to COVID-19. 

Congressman Pappas joined members of Congress in writing to Defense Secretary Mark Esper urging him to consult with America’s governors and extend the Section 502(f) authorizations for the duration of the President’s emergency and disaster declarations.