The following is a news release from the Office of Congressman Jodey Arrington:
On Tuesday, legislation Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) introduced to significantly improve the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), helping servicemembers transition from active duty service to civilian life, passed the House of Representatives.
The Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William “Bill” Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act of 2018, named in memory of a Plainview High School graduate and decorated Navy SEAL, would represent the largest reorganization of TAP since 2011.
“Our country makes a tremendous investment in preparing our citizens to be warriors on the battlefield, but we only invest a fraction of that helping soldiers in their transition back to civilian life,” said Arrington. “When our soldiers come home from war, it doesn’t mean the conflict for them is over. There is often a battle that continues to rage on inside of them. That is a big reason why each day we lose 20 veterans to suicide. If we do a better job supporting our servicemen and women on the front end of their transition to civilian life, we can reduce the number of veterans who struggle with unemployment, homelessness and suicide.
“We owe it to Bill and to all ‘who have borne the battle’ to do everything we can to prepare them for civilian life just as we have equipped them for their military careers. I believe this legislation accomplishes that goal and has the potential to save lives.”
Arrington’s legislation includes much-needed reforms that would improve a servicemember’s transition from active duty service to civilian life by engaging them earlier in the process, providing servicemembers with a more comprehensive assessment that includes mental health, customizing support services rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, strengthening their connection to community organizations, and tracking and measuring success so Congress can make further improvements in the future.
“One of our most important duties is ensuring the men and women who have served this nation receive the tools and support they need when transitioning back into civilian life,” said House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe. “I applaud the House for passing this bipartisan bill to make improvements to the Transition Assistance Program, and I thank Economic Opportunity Subcommittee Chairman Arrington for his strong leadership on this important bill.”
(News release from the Office of Congressman Jodey Arrington)