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Bill to Bring Home Missing Servicemembers Introduced in House, Gains Veterans Organizations’ Support

January 16, 2020

WASHINGTON – A companion bill to S. 2794, the Bring Our Heroes Home Act (BOHHA), introduced by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), was introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Chris Pappas (D-New Hampshire) and Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho).  Crapo and Shaheen today also announced that S. 2794 has received endorsements by three Veterans Service Organizations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Veterans (AMVETS) and the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIAs. 

“The introduction of the Bring Our Heroes Home Act in the House of Representatives signals to families and survivors that their loved ones who sacrificed so much in service to our nation will not be forgotten or left behind,” said Senator Crapo.  “I thank Representatives Pappas and Fulcher for their support of this important legislation, and look forward to working with them and Senator Shaheen to get this bill through Congress.  Further, endorsements by the VFW, AMVETS and the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIAs is evidence of the continued commitment these service organizations have to their fellow veterans.” 

“We need to do everything in our power to ensure that those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service of our nation are brought back home.  I’m thankful that the Bring Our Heroes Home Act has now been introduced in the House of Representatives,” said Senator Shaheen.  “By creating an expedited and efficient process allowing family members of missing service men and women to access information on their loved ones, we will move one step closer to delivering closure to families and honoring our commitment to return these brave Americans home.  I’ll continue to work to move this important legislation through Congress.” 

“I can’t imagine the feeling of families who have waited years and in many cases decades to learn any information at all about their loved ones who are missing in action or unaccounted for,” said Representative Pappas.  “For far too long, the federal government has not had an expedited process in place to declassify and make public the necessary information that could bring peace to these families. This tangible step towards identification and repatriation reaffirms the commitment to our nation’s service members and their families with a clear message: you are not forgotten.” 

“Idaho families should not have to deal with bureaucratic red tape just to learn about the brave history of their loved-ones,” said Representative Fulcher.  “I am proud to introduce this bicameral, bipartisan legislation to ensure families have access to the stories of sacrifice by their family members.” 

On behalf of the 1.6 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliary, we offer our support for S. 2794 – [the] Bring our Heroes Home Act,” wrote Vincent “BJ” Lawrence, Executive Director of the VFW.  “This will in time grant easier access for families of Missing Armed Forces Personnel to receive their loved ones’ records.” 

“AMVETS supports the passage and implementation of this legislation,” wrote Joseph Chenelly, Executive Director of AMVETS.  “As an organization of more than 250,000 members, we are committed to never forget our missing in action and prisoners of war.  We commend Senator Crapo for not forgetting their families.” 

“The Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIAs offers its unfettered support for the Bring Our Heroes Home Act,” wrote Richard Downes, President, and Donna Knox, Legislative Liaison, for the Coalition.  “We urge other senators to support and co-sponsor the bill as a demonstration of commitment to the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces.  Let us truly work to leave no one behind.” 

Since its introduction on November 6, 2019, the Senate bill has gained 11 additional co-sponsors in the Senate, including Senators James Risch (R-Idaho), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) and Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire). 

Full bill text of S. 2794 can be found HERE.  A section-by-section can be found HERE and a one-pager can be found HERE.  

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