Here’s this from a Chambliss Press Release I received via email:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Co-Chairman of the Senate Reserve Caucus, and a member of the Senate National Guard Caucus, is the 2008 recipient of the National Guard Association’s distinguished Harry S. Truman Award. The award is the association’s highest honor and is given to civilian and military leaders who demonstrate continued contributions to national defense and security. Chambliss will receive the award during the organization’s 130th General Conference Monday evening in Baltimore, Maryland, in recognition of his support for National Guard issues and priorities, and in particular for two pieces of legislation he has championed in the U.S. Senate to benefit members of the National Guard and Reserve.
Senator Chambliss introduced legislation, the “National Guard and Reserve Retirement Modernization Act,” in April, 2007, to reduce the age for receipt of retirement pay by three months (counting down from age 60) for every 90 days a Guard or Reserve member spends on active duty in support of a contingency operation. The legislation passed the Senate and was signed into law by President Bush. National Guard and Reserve members are the only federal retirees who must wait until age 60 to collect retirement pay. Senator Chambliss has also introduced legislation to make this provision retroactive to include any duty performed since September 11, 2001.
Additionally, last year the Senate passed legislation Senator Chambliss introduced with several of his colleagues to create a reintegration program for National Guard personnel returning from combat. The program, the “Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program,” which is modeled after the Minnesota National Guard’s “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” program, focuses on support for soldiers and their families during each of the four phases of their deployment cycle including pre-deployment, deployment, demobilization, and post-deployment. The program includes family and marriage counseling, PTSD screening, financial planning and education, small business planning, community outreach, and healthcare and veterans benefits education. It also requires reintegration activity seminars 30, 60, and 90 days after soldiers return home to assist returning troops and their families with specific challenges presented by the reintegration process. Chambliss is working to ensure that the Department of Defense properly funds the Yellow Ribbon program and provides a national certified program for our states to easily adopt and overcome current deployment and reintegration shortfalls.
“In this era of new threats, our Guardsmen and women are being called upon more and more, away from their families and their civilian employment for extended periods of time to defend and protect our nation,” said Chambliss. “If we’re going to continue to call on them, we need to take action to show that we stand behind them and appreciate the tough challenges they face. I am humbled to receive this award, and I will accept it on behalf of our courageous citizen soldiers and their families in Georgia and around the country, and I pledge that I will continue to work with the Armed Services Committee and my colleagues in the Senate to address their needs.”
“Senator Chambliss’ work on Guard issues reflects his longstanding commitment and concentrated focus on the readiness, morale and welfare of military forces and their families,” said retired Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Koper, NGAUS president. “His values are totally consistent with all of us who call ourselves citizen-solders. He, too, has chosen to serve our nation in an honorable and sacrificial way.”