Mission Statement: Project Patriot’s core mission is to advocate for legislation that will allow Equal Access to the Space Available Program for all Service-Connected Disabled American Veterans with a Permanent Disability Rated as Total to travel on military aircraft in the same manner and to the same extent as retired members of the Armed Forces entitled to such travel.
S. 116 (Sponsor: Sen. Dean Heller and introduced on 1/12/2017) and H. R. 936 (Sponsor: Rep. Gus Bilirakis and introduced on 2/7/2017) are Bills to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit veterans who have a service-connected, permanent disability as rated as total to travel on military aircraft in the same manner and to the same extent as retired members of the Armed Forces entitled to such travel.
Disabled American Veterans and several advocacy organizations have struggled for several years in advocating for this type of legislation that adds a "privilege" for our Disabled American Veterans, who epitomize the extraordinary meaning of service and sacrifice for our country.
There are currently around 400,000 service-connected Disabled American Veterans rated as total that would benefit from this legislation, if passed. Through sacrifice of health and quality of life issues, these selfless Patriots have served their country honorably and are now forced to deal with their disabilities on a daily basis, for life, that were incurred on duty while serving their country faithfully and who deserves to have Equal Access to the Space Available Program … a privilege that is so freely given to many others.
The noted legislation is "cost-neutral" as no funding is required in allowing our service-connected Disabled American Veterans the opportunity to participate in the Space Available Program. Just by having the "opportunity" is a privilege in itself and will be greatly appreciated in the Disabled American Veteran Community.
These current bills need to pass by the end of the year with the help of the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee or they will expire and then will have to be reintroduced again as new bills for the next Congress. Let’s stop this vicious cycle that doesn’t benefit anyone and pass this bipartisan, cost-neutral legislation once and for all! This is the only privilege that service-connected Disabled American Veterans rated as total don’t currently have compared to their counterparts ... retirees.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides an excellent means to achieve the goal of this legislation and Project Patriot strongly supports Equal Access to the Space Available Program for our Disabled American Veterans and we call on the Armed Services Committees to incorporate this legislation into the NDAA.
Thank you all for your Compassion and Support of this meaningful legislation!
MESSAGE TO CONGRESS
Concerning this Legislation: Carpe Diem 115th Congress and don’t allow this opportunity to vanish without a trace of your support for our Disabled American Veterans.
How can I help our Disabled American Veterans in passing this legislation?
- Check the Congressional Directories below for your Congressional contacts, including fax and phone numbers and mailing addresses.
- Call your Representative or Senator today and urge them to Co-Sponsor, Defend and Support this important legislation for our Disabled American Veterans.
- Email, Fax or Mail a letter or postcard to your Representative or Senator and urge them to Co-Sponsor, Defend and Support this important legislation for our Disabled American Veterans. (We have provided sample letters for your convenience.)
- A donation of Postcard Stamps may be mailed to: Project Patriot, PO Box 6494, Reno, NV 89513 and businesses may contact us by email to sponsor our Postcard Campaign to Congress Program … send us your contact information and someone from Project Patriot will contact you ASAP!
(NOTE: Donations are not tax deductable as we are not a NON PROFIT 501(c)(3).
- Encourage family members, friends and fellow veterans to visit our website and assist in Project Patriot’s mission!
Help Sponsor Project Patriot
Frequently Asked Questions
NO funding is required for this legislation.
Yes. This legislation is for Disabled American Veterans who have a Service-Connected, Permanent Disability Rated as Total and are already in possession of a DoD ID Card.
When Congress passed legislation ions ago that allowed the same benefits for Disabled American Veterans as retirees, they forgot to include this one privilege for our Disabled American Veterans that is so freely given to many others.
- NO funding is required for this legislation, Congress just needs to incorporate this legislation into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA);
- Disabled American Veterans have sacrificed their health and quality of life…permanently, and have more than earned this privilege;
- This is the only privilege that Disabled American Veterans don’t currently have compared to retirees;
- Disabled American Veterans are already issued a DoD ID Card that provides them access to American Military Bases;
- It adds value to each Congressional Member’s resume for taking a positive stance for our Disabled American Veterans, and;
- This is an excellent way for the 115th Congress to exhibit Honor and Respect for our American Disabled Veterans by allowing Equal Access to the Space Available Program.
Another great question ... since NO funding is required and this is an added privilege for our Disabled American Veterans, there is NO viable reason for Congress not to Co-Sponsor, Support and Pass this Bipartisan Legislation.
No. Disabled American Veterans will be listed as Category VI Priority which is the lowest priority category available in the Space A Program.
Yes. Currently, retirees that are disabled and veterans medically retired with a 30% minimum disability may utilize the Space A Program. In fact, DoD just revised the DoD Instruction 4515.13 Air Transportation Eligibility Manual on January 22, 2016 and addresses Disabled Passengers and even allows Service Animals now.
Not at all ... for these reasons:
- According to the GAO, there were 57,000 unused seats in 2011;
- In order to fly on the Space A Program, the qualified veteran must sign on to a 60-day priority list, and;
- It is estimated that less than 3% of our Disabled American Veterans will utilize the Space A Program since according to the GAO as of 2011, only 2.3% of individuals eligible for the Space Available Program actually utilized the program occupying only 77.3% of the available seats.
Therefore, there is plenty of space available to honor ALL Service-Connected Disabled American Veterans.
You bet. Disabled American Veterans and Veteran Service Organizations have been advocating for this type of legislation for years. Even if a Disabled American Veteran does not utilize the Space A program, just by having this privilege is still a benefit in itself.
Yes you may ... and you’re welcome!