|00:00:00||AN ORIGINAL CO-SPONSOR OF, OFFERED BY MY FELL HE MEMBER OF THE MINNESOTA DELEGATION, JOHN KLINE.|
|00:00:08||THIS PROGRAM IS AN IMPORTANT PROGRAM THAT ALLOWS SERVICE MEMBER THE OPPORTUNITY TO READJUST AFTER DEPLOYMENTS AND SPEND MORE TIME WITH THEIR FAMILIES THIS EARNED LEAVE FURTHER PROVIDES RETURNING SERVICE MEMBERS WITH MORE TIME IN A LESS STRESSFUL ENVIRONMENT -- AND A LESS STRESSFUL ENVIRONMENT TO SEEK EMPLOYMENT AT A TIME WHEN A JOB SEARCH IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE DIFFICULT.|
|00:00:30||THESE EARNED BENEFITS WILL HELP COMBAT THE HIGH STRESS EXPERIENCED FROM THOSE WHO RETURN FROM PROLONGED DEPLOYMENTS.|
|00:00:39||THE MINNESOTA NATIONAL GUARD AND OTHERS IMPACTED BY THE PDMRA CHANGE WHO HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED TO THE MIDEAST WERE CHARGED WITH THE PROMISE TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY.|
|00:00:47||THEY HAVE MORE THAN LIVED UP TO THEIR END OF THE BARGAIN TO TO KEEP THEIR PROMISE.|
|00:00:52||NOW IT IS TIME FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEFENSE TO LIVE UP TO THEIR END OF THE DEAL AND PROVIDE THE INDIVIDUALS WITH THE FULL BENEFITS THEY WERE PROMISED AT THE TIME OF THEIR MOBILIZATION AND DEPLOYMENT.|
|00:01:03||AS CHAIRMAN KLINE ADDRESSES IN HIS SUPPORT FOR THIS BILL, SOME OF THE SERVICE MEMBERS AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY CHANGE HAVE PERFORMED MULTIPLE DEPLOYMENTS IN EXCESS OF 12 TO 24 MONTHS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE IRAQ WAR.|
|00:01:16||THAT IS ONE TO FOUR YEARS THEY HAVE BEEN AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILIES AND AWAY FROM THE WORLD IN A COMBAT ENVIRONMENT.|
|00:01:26||SOME OF THE SAME SERVICE MEMBERS, PESKLY 2005 AND 2007 IRAQ DEPLOYED SERVICE MEMBERS COULD LOSE UP TO 24 DAYS UNDER THE CHANGES IN THE PDMRA POLICY.|
|00:01:38||I DO NOT THINK IT IS TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR THOSE PROMISED 24 DAYS OF LEAVE FOR UP TO TWO YEARS OF DEPLOYED SERVICE, THEY SHOULD RECEIVE THAT LEAVE.|
|00:01:49||THEREFORE IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE HONOR AND RESPECT THE PROMISES MADE THAT THESE FAMILIES WHO SACRIFICED SO MUCH IN THE DEFENSE OF THEIR FAMILIES.|
|00:01:58||I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF WELCOMING THE RED BULLS HOME IF THEIR DEPLOYMENT IN IRAQ AND KUWAIT.|
|00:02:03||WHEN I ATTENDED THE DEPLOYMENT CEREMONY LAST YEAR, ONE OF THE COMMANDING OFFICERS OF THE BRIGADE SAID TO THE FAMILIES, I WILL BRING THEM ALL HOME.|
|00:02:11||TRUE TO HIS WORD, THE FIRST THING LIEUTENANT COLONEL FRIZELL SAID IN A HAND SALUTE TO THE ADJEW TANT GENERAL OF THE MINNESOTA GUARD WHEN HIS FEET TOUCHED THE GROUND WAS, I BROUGHT THEM ALL HOME, SIR.|
|00:02:30||MADAM SPEAKER, IT'S NOW TIME TO BRING THEM ALL THE WAY HOME.|
|00:02:33||I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT H.|
|00:02:35||R. 4045 WHICH WILL PROTECT THE PROMISES MADE TO OUR RESERVE AND NATIONAL GUARD BY ENSURING THE MEMBERS RECEIVE THE BENEFITS THEY WERE PROMISED AND HIGHLY DESERVE.|
|00:02:47||THANK YOU AND I YIELD BACK.|
|00:02:49||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLEMAN RESERVES.|
|00:02:51||THE HOUSE WILL BE IN ORDER.|
Mr. CRAVAACK. I thank Chairman Kline for the recognition.
Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of a critically important bill which I am a cosponsor of, offered by a fellow member of the Minnesota delegation, Chairman John Kline.
The Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence program is an important program that allows servicemembers the opportunity to readjust after deployments and spend more time with their families. This earned leave further provides returning servicemembers with more time and a less stressful environment in which to seek employment in a time where a job search is becoming increasingly more difficult. These earned benefits will help combat the high stress experienced by those who have returned home from prolonged deployments.
The Minnesota National Guard and tens of thousands of other guardsmen and reservists who have been deployed to the Middle East and were impacted by the PDMRA change were charged with the promise to defend our country. They have more than lived up to their end of the bargain to keep their promise. Now it is time for the Department of Defense to live up to its end of the deal and provide these individuals with the full benefits they were promised at the time of their mobilization deployment.
As Chairman Kline addresses in his support for this bill, some of the servicemembers affected by this policy change have performed multiple deployments in excess of 12 to 24 months since the beginning of the Iraq war. That is 1 to 2 full years that these servicemembers have been away from their families, halfway across the world in a combat environment. Some of the same servicemembers--specifically, the 2005 2007 Iraq deploying servicemembers--could stand to lose up to 24 days under the changes in the PDMRA policy.
I do not think it is too much to ask that those who were promised 24 days of leave for up to 2 years of deployed service to receive that leave. Therefore, it is imperative that we respect and honor the promises made to these individual families who have sacrificed so much in defense of our Nation.
Recently, I have had the great privilege of welcoming the Minnesota National Guard Red Bulls home from their deployment in Iraq and Kuwait. When I attended their deployment ceremony last year in Pince City, Minnesota, one of the commanding officers in the brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Eddie Frizell said to the families, ``I'll bring them all home.'' True to his word, the first thing Lieutenant Colonel Frizell said in a hand salute to Major General Rick Nash, the adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, when his feet touched the ground in Minnesota was, ``I brought them all home, sir.'' Madam Speaker, it is now time to bring them all the way home. I urge my colleagues to support the troops and support H.R. 4045, which will protect the promises made to our National Guard and Reserve, including members of the Minnesota's Red Bulls, by ensuring these servicemembers receive the benefits they were promised and highly deserve.