In the last three years there have been a number of positives changes, which benefit Servicemembers. The Bush Administration proposed and Congress passed different legislation, which increases military benefits in different areas by close to seven billion dollars. The Defense policy bill is new legislation that raises the benefits paid to military survivors, and also benefits wounded veterans as well as raising reserve military and active duty pay. The most recent increase was a 3.5 percent military active duty pay increase.
Along with pay increases, there was also an increase in retirement funds and payments for both reservist retirement and active duty retirement benefits. The Wounded Warrior Veteran assistance package received an increase in funding levels, and a variety of other veteran related funding was done with the recent law that was passed by Congress. Most of this spending option were pushed by congress but initially resisted by certain members of the Pentagon, and the White House. The pay increase for reserves and Active duty is retroactive to January 1st, 2008, and features an across the board 3.5 percent pay raise, which is about one half percent more than was sought by the Bush Administration. The military pay increase is above the average increase in the civilian sector for last year, which averaged about 3 percent in wage and earning growth for the year 2007 fiscally speaking. Benefits which are able to help Veterans that are wounded also became law in the last year. There is often a lot of red tape and bureaucracy involved to deal with Veterans who become wounded on active duty, and it is difficult for different Servicemembers that wish to remain on active duty to prove they can do their job after being wounded. Congress worked to try and solve some of these concerns with the Wounded Warrior Act, and they attempted to address these concerns. They also worked to address the type, amount and length of time that the Benefits a wounded Warrior will receive if they separate from the military, and their health care needs for wounded Armed Forces Veterans.
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The new legislation works to support Veterans, and creates Wounded Warriors resource centers and is an attempt to centralize an information contact point for families, Servicemembers, and their extended family for different types of support and assistance.