When a family member enlisted in the U.S. military is forced to move because duty requires a transfer, the lives of loved ones can be seriously disrupted. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is among lawmakers pushing for legislation that would ease the transition.
Known as the Military Family Stability Act, the proposed legislation would give support to families of military members by allowing them up to six months to stay in place and complete any obligations before moving to join their enlisted loved one.
"If a service member is told she has to transfer to a new base in a new state, her spouse would be able to take a few weeks to finish up those last few projects or their child can wait a few more months to finish up a school year with his class," Gillibrand explained during a conference call.
Supporters of the Military Family Stability Act are hoping to include it within the National Defense Authorization Act that Congress is set to debate this month.
"It's become less common in this country for one spouse to work and the other spouse to stay home," Gillibrand said. "In the 1950s, the military spouse may not have had a job outside the home to worry about. The military families in the 21st Century are different and we need new policies that reflect this new reality."
The proposal, Gillibrand says, has bipartisan support and would also apply to families of those enlisted in the National Guard. Also endorsing the proposal are numerous veterans organizations including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.