PASSED: Lankford’s Extension for Scholarship Eligibility to Gold Star Families

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded the passage of  the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvements Act of 2020 which includes his legislation to extend eligibility for the Fry Scholarship to spouses and children of National Guard and Reserve service members who died of service-connected causes but whose deaths did not occur when the member was on active duty. The Fry Scholarship provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001. The bill now goes to the President’s desk. 

Our men and women of the National Guard and Reserve and their families make tremendous sacrifices to serve our country,” said Lankford. “Under current law if a member of the National Guard or Reserve dies from service-connected causes but not an active duty, their families are ineligible to receive their rightful benefits. It’s a disservice to those who give their lives in service to our nation. I’m grateful today we were able to take a step forward in better serving them by correcting this discrepancy and extending the eligibility for the Fry Scholarship.  I’m hopeful the President will be swift in signing this bill into law.”

In May 2019, Lankford introduced legislation to extend eligibility for the Fry Scholarship. He included similar language in a Comprehensive Veterans Benefits Package introduced in August of this year.