Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that she has introduced legislation to create a special monthly pension of $125 for Gold Star parents - surviving mothers and fathers whose sons or daughters lost their lives while serving in the Armed Forces during a period of war.
"Independence day is a time to celebrate our nation's struggle for freedom, but it is also a day to remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country," Senator Clinton said. "Now more than ever we need to show support for our troops and for their parents when their children do not return."
The Gold Star Parents Annuity Act(S.2573) would provide a stipend of $125 a month to the surviving parents (known as 'Gold Star parents') of members of the Armed Forces who die during a period of war.
"Nothing can replace a son or daughter we owe these parents a lifetime of gratitude for their children's sacrifice. I hope this can go some of the way towards showing them how much we care," Senator Clinton said.
"I would like to especially thank the American Gold Star Mothers for helping me pick up the mantle from former Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, himself a truly heroic American who gave so much in Vietnam on behalf of his country. It is an honor to work side by side with these courageous and strong women," Senator Clinton said.
American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. is a federally-chartered organization and is a member of the National Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Advisory Committee. The membership of American Gold Star Mothers is composed of American mothers who lost a son or daughter during World War I, world War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Beirut, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq and other strategic areas, or while in service to our country.
The approximately 150 chapters of American Gold Star Mothers throughout the United States give many hours of work and personal service in hospitals for the veterans, and to the veteran and his family. The American Gold Star Mothers is a non-profit organization and receives funds from dues and donations only. The organization was founded nationally shortly after the First World War by Mrs. Grace Darling Siebold, Washington, DC, for the purpose of perpetuating the ideals of Americanism for which their children had fought and died.
Senator Clinton co-sponsored a previous version of the Gold Star Parents Annuity Act when that legislation was introduced during the 107th Congress by former Senator Cleland.
Senator Clinton has also worked closely with the Gold Star Wives of America on legislation. In 2003, legislation initiated by Senator Clinton, along with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, was approved by the Senate that would allow a veteran's widow who receives survivor benefits, to keep her benefits if she remarries after the age of 57. Previously, surviving spouses who remarried were not allowed to receive these benefits.