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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3002

   To amend title 10, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of 
Defense to carry out a program to provide a support system for members 
           of the Armed Forces who incur severe disabilities.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           November 18, 2004

 Mr. Bond (for himself and Mr. Kennedy) introduced the following bill; 
  which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Armed Services

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To amend title 10, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of 
Defense to carry out a program to provide a support system for members 
           of the Armed Forces who incur severe disabilities.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Disabled Veterans Transition 
Assistance Act of 2004''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to honor the members of the Armed Forces by ensuring 
        that those members who are severely disabled on or after 
        September 11, 2001, while in the military service and their 
        family members receive the assistance they need in undergoing 
        the transition from military to civilian life and from care 
        provided by the Department of Defense to care provided by the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs; and
            (2) in order to carry out the purpose stated in paragraph 
        (1), to expand the scope of the program of the Army known as 
        the Disabled Soldiers' Support System to provide transition 
        assistance as described in paragraph (1) for all eligible 
        severely disabled members of the Army and to extend that 
        program to all branches of the Armed Forces.

SEC. 3. ENHANCED TRANSITION ASSISTANCE FOR SEVERELY WOUNDED 
              SERVICEMEMBERS.

    (a) Disabled Servicemember Support.--(1) Chapter 58 of title 10, 
United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
section:
``Sec. 1154. Support and transition assistance for members with severe 
              disabilities
    ``(a) Disabled Servicemember Support System.--The Secretary of 
Defense shall carry out a program to provide a support system for 
members of the Armed Forces who incur severe disabilities on or after 
September 11, 2001. The program shall include a system of advocacy and 
follow-up with personal support to assist those members as they 
transition from military service to the civilian community.
    ``(b) Executive Agent.--The Secretary of Defense shall designate an 
executive agent within the Department of Defense to have the authority 
and responsibility to carry out the program under this section 
throughout the Department of Defense and, in cooperation with the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, for members of the Coast Guard with 
severe disabilities.
    ``(c) Staffing.--As part of the program under subsection (a), the 
Secretary shall ensure that there are sufficient personnel assigned to 
the program so that the ratio of severely disabled members or former 
members eligible for the program at any time to the number of personnel 
assigned to the program with specific responsibility for advocacy and 
follow-up for assigned members and former members is not greater than 
30 to 1.
    ``(d) Severe Disabilities.--The Secretary of Defense shall specify 
the degree and nature of disabilities that are to be considered to be 
severe disabilities for the purposes of this section.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is 
amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``1154. Support and transition assistance for members with severe 
                            disabilities.''.
    (b) Implementation.--The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe 
regulations for the purposes of section 1154 of title 10, United States 
Code, as added by subsection (a), not later than 180 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act. The Secretary shall designate the 
executive agent required by subsection (b) of that section not later 
than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. Until such 
designation is made by the Secretary, the executive agent shall be the 
Secretary of the Army.
    (c) Initial Funding.--For fiscal year 2005, the Secretary of 
Defense shall transfer such funds as necessary to provide funds for the 
implementation during that fiscal year of the program required by that 
section.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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