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have to take "back seats" in the field of veterans' legislation. Instead of being relegated to a subordinate role in this connection the wartime disabled should constitute, in fact, the group entitled to No. 1 priority.
In conclusion, please allow me to quote from my statement made on April 21, 1959, at the hearing on this bill before the subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare:
The young men who have answered the selective service call in the past and who will do so in the future are contributing greatly to our position of strength and security. We know and appreciate their sacrifices, and they will not fail
We must assist them within reasonable limits of our resources, but not to the extent of considering their peacetime service on a parity in all respects with the hardships and dangers faced by those who experienced actual war service.
The Disabled American Veterans has an educational bill pending before your committee which we believe should be reported out, passed by both Houses and enacted into law this session, without fail. That bill is H.R. 4582, and it would provide educational opportunities for the children of permanently and totally service-connected veterans who, by reason of their war disabilities, have been unable to take advantage of the educational provisions of the readjustment law in their own rights.
To us, this is a logical and humane extension of the War Orphans* Educational Assistance Act (ch. 35, title 38, U.S.C.) which declares eligible the child of a person who died of a service-connected disability arising out of active military, naval, or air service during World War I, World War II, or the Korean conflict. We beseech your committee to accord favorable consideration to H.R. 4582, and at an early date, so that there may still be time for it to clear both Houses of Congress prior to adjournment.
Thank you very much for your courtesy and attention. If there are any questions, I shall do my best to answer them or to see that they are answered.
Mr. Haley. Thank you very much for your statement, and I might say that I think it is a very good statement.
While of course we do not have H.R. 4582 before this committee at the present time, I judge that the prime objective of that bill is to give to the children of permanently disabled veterans benefits that, if the father had not been disabled, he probably would have been able to supply himself; and therefore you think that the child of this veteran is entitled to some consideration from the Government.
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. Permanently and totally disabled veterans, Congressman.
Mr. HALEY. Yes.
A member of the professional staff of the committee has informed me of a bill that did pass this committee, which, with a little broadening, as I understand it, probably would accomplish what your organization has in mind.
Would you explain, very briefly, the benefits of that bill and what might be needed?
COUNSEL. Mr. Chairman, the committee in the latter part of the first session, reported H.R. 4306 sponsored by Mr. Thornberry, which provided for an amendment to the War Orphans' Educational Act to give education to the children of men who lost their lives on extra haz
ardous missions, as in the case of the plane that went down over Afghanistan. I understand that there is some thought in the Senate committee of broadening that proposal to perhaps take in all those who are permanently and totally disabled, or at least broadening the category in some regard.
Mr. Haley. I might explain to the witness: On the other side of the house, they can broaden bills considerably, as you well know. They can do a lot of things that apparently we cannot do.
Let me ask you just this one question. I should know this, but I am sorry to admit I do not.
Does your organization admit to membership peacetime veterans who have been disabled in the line of duty during peacetime?
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. Our organization is essentially one of the wartime disabled. We did leave the eligibility date open for quite a while. Now it has been closed by an amendment to our constitution, as of January 31, 1955, but those who were disabled in service and were accepted for membership when the delimiting date was open will still continue to be members. But essentially it is a group of the wartime disabled.
Mr. HALEY. I am pretty much in accord with your statement. I think it is a very good one. You say here that some consideration should be given to veterans, regardless of when the disability occurred. If it occurred, say, in peacetime, and as a result of his service to the country, I think that that veteran ought to receive some consideration.
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. Yes. We are in favor of that section of S. 1138 that would bring in the service-connected veteran.
Mr. Haley. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Dorn. I think you have made a very excellent statement on behalf of your great organization.
I think you are right, too, about this bill to extend coverage to the children of totally disabled men. That would take care partially of the inequities mentioned by the national commander, here, a day or two ago about the service-connected disabled veterans getting less income than they would have gotten had they not been disabled during this inflationary time. I think that is a very worthwhile piece of legislation.
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. We feel this, Congressman: that in the case of the permanently and totally service-connected veteran who has a family, the family suffers by reason of the fact that he has been unable, by reason of war injuries or disease, to take advantage of the educational provisions of the law. And, as a result, his family has much less income, much less advantage, and we feel this bill of ours, or the amendment of a pending bill along similar lines, is very much indicated.
Mr. Dorn. I had a bill a couple of years ago, you know, to use some of the war assets of Germany and Japan to fill this purpose, educate the children of totally disabled veterans, totally disabled by German and Japan. And, oh, you have no idea of the power of this great lobby here in the United States, desperately, for some mysterious reason, wanting to turn this money back over to Germany and Japan on the false pretense of seizing private property, when Germany was tickled pink not to be assessed war reparations of $300 billion and only give us the $500 million of war assets.
It is hard to explain why some desperately wanted to turn this money back over. But that could have been done without cost to the taxpayers 2 years ago.
The committee reported my bill, but this great powerful lobby went to work on it, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Haley. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Saylor.
Mr. SAYLOR. Mr. Freudenberger, I read your statement and would like to commend you on it.
I would like to ask you some questions. On the first page, you say you endorse the section of the bill which will grant vocational rehabilitation training to post-Korean veterans who have 30 percent disability. Why do you arrive at the magic figure of 30 ?
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. The man who has 30 percent or more disability-I think it is reasonable to hold that he needs training; whereas, in the case of a man who has service-connected disability of 10 percent or 20 percent, under 30 percent, they have to make a finding that he is actually in need of training. But the finding is automatic if the man has 30 percent or more.
COUNSEL. It is in the law.
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. It is in the law, yes. And we think that is a fair provision.
Mr. SAYLOR. So you would like to continue that provision to all peacetime veterans ?
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. That is right. We have a national convention mandate on that, and we are in favor of that particular section of S. 1138.
Mr. SAYLOR. And your organization is in favor of that provision, even though the members who would receive those benefits are not eligible to become members of your organization?
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SAYLOR. Actually, the reason I ask that is that I think it strengthens your position.
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SAYLOR. You are not looking at this from a membership standpoint; you are looking at it as a problem affecting the people who serve our country?
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. That is correct.
Mr. SAYLOR. Now, let me ask you this further question in regard to these veterans, these post-Korean veterans: Do you feel that the Armed Services Committee shoud take up legislation calling for the rehabilitation of members of the armed services before they return to civilian life. or before they are discharged ?
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. We have taken no position on that, Mr. Saylor. But personally, it seems to me that it might be well worth considering.
Mr. Saylor. The reason I raise that question is that many companies have found that they have been able to train men who have been hurt in their own plants, with their own rehabilitation program, and put them to use, and find a job for them in their own company.
Now, since we are going to have for a long period of time a sizable military force, we are just wondering whether or not this feature might not be a desirable thing, to have the Army, or the Department of Defense, look at it.
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. One objection to it that I can see, though, is that there would have to be a dividing line as to the disabilities. You might have a man who was very badly disabled, and it might be a very long drawn out process to retain him in the Armed Forces and attempt to train him.
Actually, it is probably the VA's job to do that. But, as I say, I think, depending on the provisions of such a bill, it would certainly be very well worth study and consideration.
Mr. SAYLOR. Just thinking out loud on this subject, it seems to me that the military already has an obligation to the man that is in the service, and they should not transfer their responsibility to the VA. Some of these people that received sufficient disability are retired from the service.
Now, if they are retired from the service, do you feel that they should get benefits both from their military service and from the veterans' benefits?
Mr. FREUDENBERGER. Are you referring to a peacetime veteran who was injured in service and was retired from the Armed Forces because of his service-connected injury? Mr. SAYLOR. That is right. I do not want to go
back Mr. FREUDENBERGER. Yes. I think he should come under that provision.
Mr. SAYLOR. Thank you. Mr. HALEY. Any further question ? Mr. Adair? Mr. ADAIR. No questions. Mr. HALEY. Thank you very much for your statement. The next witness is the XMVETS representative, Mr. John R. Holden.
Mr. Holden, we are very glad to have you before the committee this morning. I believe you have a colleague along with you this morning. If you will identify yourself and your colleague for the record, you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF JOHN R. HOLDEN, LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR,
AMVETS; ACCOMPANIED BY WILLIAM FLAHERTY, ASSISTANT NATIONAL SERVICE DIRECTOR
Mr. HOLDEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
I am John R. Holden, the national legislative director of AMVETS, and I am accompanied by William Flaherty, the assistant national service director of AMVETS.
I appreciate this opportunity to present the views of AMVETS on the important issue of benefits for post-Korean ex-service men and women. The need for special legislation for the person who served after January 31, 1955, is especially great.
In the past, the Congress, in providing benefits for former members of the Armed Forces, has been guided by one very important consideration-whether the military service was performed during time
of war or in time of peace. Aside from the fact that the wartime serviceman was exposed to extra hazards not normally encountered in a regular tour of duty, it could be assumed that the greater portion of the wartime force was either drafted or volunteered because of the patriotic appeal and a sense of duty to country during a time of peris. In either event, it was clear that military service, in most instances, had interrupted the pursuit of a career in civil life. Thus, it followed that special treatment, including benefits to assure their successful reintegration into civil life, was in order for the wartime veteran.
The straight peacetime ex-serviceman, on the other hand, was not exposed to the same hazards of service, nor was he motivated in the same manner in entering military service. In most cases, he voluntarily enlisted in the military because it offered him the career of his choice. The distinction, therefore, between war and peacetime service was crystal clear and the Congress proceeded to grant different benefits to each group.
The status of the group with service after January 31, 1955, is not so well defined. These men are not war veterans nor should they be placed in the straight peacetime service category. For the most part they are not men who analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of a military career and then enlisted through choice. These are men whose civilian pursuits were involuntarily interrupted. They were either drafted or served under the compulsion of the draft. In many instances the service was even more hazardous than that experienced by some war veterans. Yet, they are not entitled to nonservice-connected pensions. They cannot be hospitalized for treatment of a non-service-connected disability unless there is also present a service-connected disability. They receive no mustering-out pay. They have no entitlement to vocational rehabilitation, education and training, housing loan guarantee, and other benefits. In short, this is an entirely different category of veteran for whom no precedent with respect to veterans' benefits has ever been established.
It is the carefully considered opinion of AMVETS that the postKorean conflict group is deserving of special consideration. It is our further contention that legislation should be enacted granting to this group an education and training program that is somewhat less extensive than that presently available to war veterans.
We have studied the bills presently under consideration and recommend for your further action H.R. 2259. This measure, introduced by the distinguished chairman of your committee at the request of AMVETS, would authorize a program of vocational rehabilitation to overcome an occupational handicap created by service-connected disabilities for the post-Korean ex-serviceman.
This program is similar to the vocational rehabilitation program provided for disabled World War II and Korean veterans. Its extension to the post-Korean group will recognize the fact that the Federal Government has an obligation to teach new skills to persons unable to pursue their old occupation because of injuries or disabilities incurred in service.
H.R. 2259, additionally, would provide education and training benefits for persons who served after January 31, 1955, similar to those offered by title II of Public Law 550, 82d Congress, the so-called