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Friday, July 26, 2013

 10:15 AM 

Pocan, Rangel bill would restore military records for gay veterans

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan unveiled a bill Thursday that would restore the service record of U.S. military personnel who were discharged because they were gay.

The bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., update service records for those veterans given dishonorable or general discharges because of their violation of the now-defunct "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

During a conference call, Pocan said the bill -- which has 102 co-sponsors -- would help thousands of veterans who have experienced problems finding a job and receiving certain benefits because of the mark on their military record. Pocan said the bill would streamline updates to their records and remove references to their sexuality.

"While we never can give these brave veterans the time or service they were denied to provide to the country, we can take steps to restore that they deserve," said Pocan, D-Madison, who is openly gay.

Pocan also said Dem U.S. Reps. Ron Kind and Gwen Moore have signed on to the bill. Pocan's office has also reached out to GOP Rep. Reid Ribble on the measure.


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