17 February 2005
The Honorable Michael Bilirakis
U.S. House of Representative
2269 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D. C. 20515

Dear Representative Bilirakis:

FRA expresses sincere appreciation for your untiring commitment to authorize full concurrent receipt for all retired military service members receiving payments for service-connected disabilities through the reintroduction of HR 303.

The issue of concurrent receipt has never been to provide military retirees with "new" benefits, but to allow them to be separately compensated for service to the nation and suffering service connected disabilities.

Great strides have been made on this issue in the 108th Congress, but it is now time to move toward our mutual objective. The authorization of full concurrent receipt is, and has been, the mandate of FRA’s membership for 10 or more years. As part of your "attacking force," FRA’s membership numbering 120,000 active, reserve, and retired Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen stands at the ready.

The Association would also support a future proposal extending eligibility for full concurrent receipt to some Chapter 61 retirees. Retirees who clearly intended to serve a career, but were unable to because of injury, should be eligible to receive both military retirement pay VA disability compensation.

Once again, the Association and its members salute you for your perseverance and devotion to our military retired veterans.

National Executive Secretary