December 17, 2003

San Ramon, California, December 17, 2003. Today, the Blue Star Moms are pleased to announce that President Bush signed HR2115 the Flight 100 Century of Aviation Act which included the language of HRES 236 introduced by U.S. Reps. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) and Ellen Tauscher (D-Walnut Creek). Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) also assisted the Blue Star Moms by supporting the House version of the resolution during the FAA conference committee meeting. The pertinent language is set forth below: (b) SENSE OF CONGRESS – It is the sense of Congress that each United States air carrier should-- (1) establish for all members of the Armed Forces on active duty reduced airfares that are comparable to the lowest airfare for ticketed flights; and (2) offer flexible terms that allow members of the Armed Forces on active duty to purchase, modify, or cancel tickets without time restrictions, fees and penalties. Congress is urging all U.S. airlines to treat members of the U.S. Armed Forces comparably to other ticketed passengers. Prior to passage of this resolution, our men and women in uniform were forced in many instances to pay the highest ticketed airfares simply because of their unpredictable deployment and leave schedules. “Our troops put their lives on the line to defend our nation; they should not be penalized or burdened because their jobs require erratic travel on such short notice,” said Rep. Honda. “At a time when our service members are serving in such dangerous and uncertain conditions and their families are sacrificing so much at home, this is the least we can do to honor their service and make it a little easier for them to reconnect with loved ones at home. I’m glad the Pentagon did the right thing and recently announced that the military will pay for the full airfare home for our troops on R&R from Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Rep. Ellen Tauscher. “There are a lot of men and women in the military who make use of the airlines, many times on short notice. We are simply urging the airlines to show the kind of patriotism that is necessary to provide these honorable Americans the ability to travel from one place to another without breaking their already strained resources due to their deployment,” Senator McCain said. We also commend the efforts of Assembly Members Nicole Parra (D-Bakersfield), and Robert Dutton (D-Rancho Cucamonga) who introduced a similar resolution (HR26) which unanimously passed the California State Assembly on April 24th of this year. “The Blue Star Moms now are corresponding with every U.S. airline. We are confident that these airlines will comply with the Sense of Congress and we thank the President and members of the U.S. Congress and of the California Assembly for all of their efforts,” said Nancy Totman, Blue Star Moms. Blue Star Moms, a chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, is a family support group in Northern California. We are the proud parents of sons and daughters serving in the United States military. Blue Star Moms is a non-partisan, non-profit group. The mission of our group is to: * Support fellow Blue Star members and their sons and daughters who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America; * Share educational information to benefit the members and their families; * Support our military personnel through various service activities; * Support Veteran’s organizations, activities and events; and * Promote causes that will benefit military personnel through a Military Advocacy Program. ###