Honoring Gold Star families: Bipartisan support for Love Lives On Act of 2023

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With the sundown of the “Widow’s Tax” earlier this yr, Gold Star households are searching for to finish one other vestige of military family life: a remarriage penalty. 

The Love Lives On Act of 2023, launched within the Home of Representatives this week by congressional representatives Dean Phillips, D-Minn., and Richard Hudson, R-N.C., would enable Gold Star spouses to retain their survivors advantages after remarrying.

In keeping with the Division of Veterans Affairs, surviving spouses solely remarry in 5% of circumstances, citing monetary considerations about shedding advantages.

A surviving partner should wait till the age of 55 to remarry and nonetheless retain survivor advantages like TRICARE or the Fry Scholarship. 


Love Lives On Act, Congressman Dean Phillips

Congressman Dean Phillips’ organic father, U.S. Military Capt. Artie Pfefer, left, subsequent to a present photograph of the congressman. Pfefer died through the congressman’s childhood within the Vietnam Battle. Phillips cites the lack of his father and his mom’s subsequent remarriage as a part of his reasoning for cosponsoring the Love Lives On Act of 2023. (Congressman Dean Phillips)

Advocates of the Love Lives on Act declare that the present statute is stunting each the private {and professional} objectives of Gold Star spouses, lots of whom depend on advantages to assist their youngsters after the lack of their service member. 

A House of Representatives cosponsor, Congressman Dean Phillips, D-Minn., is a Gold Star son whose mom remarried after his father, U.S. Military Capt. Artie Pfefer, died within the Vietnam Battle.

“Spouses of those that die in service to our nation make unimaginable sacrifices and deserve never-ending respect and assist in return,” Phillips mentioned. “The  Love Lives on Act  is a part of my mission to make sure army households have entry to each single profit they’re owed.”


The invoice was additionally cosponsored within the Home this week by the Republican Congressman from North Carolina who represents Fort Bragg, Richard Hudson.

“We should assist surviving spouses who select to remarry and take away the concern of shedding the advantages paid for by their late spouses’ sacrifice,” Hudson mentioned.

Within the Senate, the invoice was cosponsored by senators Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.

Senator Moran Veterans Affairs

Rating member Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., left, and Chairman Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., proper, communicate earlier than a Senate Veterans’ Affairs listening to on the president’s proposed price range request for fiscal yr 2024 and 2025 advance appropriations requests for the Division of Veterans Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington Might 17, 2023. (AP Picture/Andrew Harnik)

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“I’ve heard from surviving spouses in my state who want to remarry and supply their youngsters with a father or mom determine however really feel they have to postpone marriage as a result of the monetary danger of shedding their advantages is just too nice,” Moran, the lead senator on the Veterans Affairs Committee, advised Fox Information Digital.

Warnock, who additionally cosponsored the invoice in April, famous the timing of the invoice’s introduction. 

“As our nation comes collectively to commemorate Memorial Day, it’s essential for all of us to do not forget that it’s not simply service members who present up,” Warnock mentioned. “Their households make great sacrifices for our nation as properly.”

“As our nation comes collectively to commemorate Memorial Day, it’s essential for all of us to do not forget that it’s not simply service members who present up. Their households make great sacrifices for our nation as properly.”

— Sen. Raphael Warnock

Present VA legislation declares that a Gold Star spouse is not the duty of the army as soon as she or he remarries, which incorporates well being care. A spokesperson for the Division of Protection confirmed in an e mail with Fox Information Digital that “TRICARE advantages for [a] surviving partner finish once they remarry.”

Amy Dozier is a surviving partner of SFC Jonathan Dozier, and the Love Lives On Act would profit her if signed into legislation.

“To remarry would imply to lose the advantages I paid into and earned as Jonathan’s spouse and now widow,” Dozier mentioned.

“The downstream impact, particularly on this economic system, could be detrimental not solely to our monetary stability, however, extra importantly, to the expansion [my daughter and I] proceed to have on this journey.”

“Selecting to remarry mustn’t impression a surviving partner’s skill to pay payments. They need to not have to decide on between one other likelihood at love and monetary safety,” TAPS, or Tragedy Help Program for Survivors, added in an e mail to Fox Information Digital.


The Love Lives On Act of 2023 awaits a vote in each the Home of Representatives and the Senate forward of Memorial Day Weekend and the annual congressional recess

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