Congressman, who deployed with National Guard to help stand up emergency hospital on Staten Island: ‘Intentionally ending orders one day short of a deadline for National Guard soldiers to receive benefits for their heroic sacrifices is the definition of heartless’
STATEN ISLAND, NY — May 19, 2020 — Congressman Max Rose, a Captain in the National Guard, issued the following statement today on the report that the Administration has ordered National Guard deployments end on June 24, just one day before thousands of soldiers would qualify for education and retirement benefits:
“Intentionally ending orders one day short of a deadline for National Guard soldiers to receive benefits for their heroic sacrifices is the definition of heartless. In peace time we should never balance our budget on the backs of our soldiers, so why anyone would think this is okay to do in the middle of a wartime effort is beyond human comprehension. This decision must be reversed not only because it is deeply unpatriotic, but also economically unsound and puts our gains against COVID-19 at risk for some short-term, foolish budgetary gimmick.”
The Administration first authorized deployment of National Guard forces under Title 32 orders, which grants them federal pay and benefits but puts them under the command of state governors, in late March to help in COVID-19 response efforts through May 31. Earlier this month, the Administration extended the orders until June 24, which is exactly one short of the 90-day threshold for National Guard soldiers to qualify for early retirement and education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI bill. There are currently more than 40,000 National Guard soldiers serving across 44 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, including over 3,000 in New York State.
Rose deployed for two weeks with the National Guard last month to assist in the coronavirus response where he helped set up a COVID-only emergency hospital on Staten Island. Rose and his office have maintained ongoing efforts to assist Staten Islanders and South Brooklynites through this pandemic and keep them up to date on the latest COVID-19 developments.
SOURCE: Jonas Edwards-Jenks | Communications Director | Congressman Max Rose
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Congressman Max Rose (NY-11), National Guard soldiers