Dutch, Cardin seeking break for military families
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin are scheduled to announce legislation Monday that would allow the families of wounded troops to receive free or reduced-rate hotel accomodations while visiting their recovering loved ones.
The legislation would expand the “Hero Miles” program created by Ruppersberger in 2003, through which military families may use miles donated by individual airline passengers for free airfare to visit troops recovering at military or Veterans Affairs medical centers.
Recovering troops who are able to travel also may use the miles.
The Fisher House Foundation, which administers Hero Miles, will announce Monday that it has issued the 25,000th ticket of the program, according to a spokeswoman for Ruppersberger, a Baltimore County Democrat.
The new legislation to be introduced in the House and Senate would establish a program through which Americans could donate hotel reward points to military families visiting wounded troops recovering around the world.
Ruppersberger and Cardin both have international responsibilities among their committee assignments: Ruppersberger is the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. Cardin is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The Senate version of the legislation already has bipartisan support, Ruppersberger spokeswoman Jamie Lennon said: The bill is to be introduced by Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, and co-sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican.
Ruppersberger and Cardin are scheduled to announce the effort Monday at BWI-Marshall Airport.