Ruppersberger proposes paying for R&R travel
The military would cover travel expenses for about 440 Maryland National Guard soldiers stationed in Egypt when they return home on leave under a proposal Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger plans to unveil Wednesday.
Under current law, Egypt is not included in the military’s leave program that pays for R&R travel expenses because it is not a combat zone. That means service members pay their own way home, the Baltimore County Democrat said.
National Guard troops have been on the Sinai Peninsula since 2002. The Maryland soldiers deployed in March as part of a peacekeeping missing.
“For their families, it’s hard to keep the home fires burning – there are empty seats at the dinner table, missed mortgage payments and unopened birthday gifts,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. “We must work harder to provide these families with the resources they need to survive their tours of duty here at home and overseas.”
Ruppersberger will attempt to tack the proposal onto Defense Authorization Act moving through Congress.
Ruppersberger, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, has previously focused on travel expenses for soldiers. In 2003, he developed a program that let frequent fliers donate airline miles to help service members pay for flights home while on leave. The government picked up only part of the cost.