Cotton Introduces Bill to Include Military Escort for MOH, POW Burials
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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced the Honoring our Heroes Act of 2018, a bill that would allow all Medal of Honor recipients and prisoners of war who are eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery to receive a full military honors burial ceremony with an escort. Currently, full military honors with an escort are reserved for commissioned officers, warrant officers, and senior non-commissioned officers.
“The rank of a Medal of Honor recipient or POW should not be the final measure of their service to this country,” Senator Cotton said. “Instead, their courageous actions and the sacrifices they made should be enough to prove their dedication, and their funeral honors must reflect the same. Passage of this bill will show the families of the deceased and members of our military that the United States will always honor its veterans appropriately for their service.”
· Most veterans who are eligible for burial in Arlington are entitled to a bugler, a firing party, and a casket team (all part of the full military honors ceremony). However, the additional funeral escort honors are currently reserved for retired officers and those who were killed in action.
· Escort honors include a caisson and a marching element made up of a band and a color guard.
· The Honoring our Heroes Act of 2018 would provide full military honors with an escort to both Medal of Honor recipients and POWs, regardless of their rank.
· Representative Mike Bishop (MI-08) has introduced companion legislation, H.R. 6734, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America, National League of POW/ MIA Families, Special Operations Association, Special Forces Association, American Ex-Prisoners of War, the American Fallen Warriors Memorial Foundation, and Rolling Thunder Inc.