From the office of Rep. Anthony Brindisi:
Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs’, joined Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-6) to introduce bipartisan legislation to extend VA burial benefits for Veterans who are buried in a non-traditional fashion.
In addition to his Republican colleague, Brindisi worked with the family of Sherrill Vietnam Veteran Chuck Osier, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to author this bill.
The legislation would ensure families of Veterans like Osier’s would receive recognition for their Veteran regardless of how they were laid to rest.
“Veterans like Chuck served our country and deserve to be honored,” Brindisi said. “This legislation, which the Osier family worked so hard to help get introduced, would right a wrong for Veterans across the country. With this bill, the VA can properly honor those who served our country and give families like the Osiers peace.”
“This bill helps families recognize their loved sailors and veterans buried at sea by commemorating their service in marble or commemorative medallion,” said Waltz. “It’s retroactive, going back to World War I, providing a physical piece of their family’s proud service history, sacrifice and legacy.”
Osier enlisted in the Air Force in August, 1973. He served for more than four years and achieved the rank of sergeant.
Osier passed away in 2015 at the age of 64. Because he was cremated, Osier was not honored with a headstone, medallion, or marker from the VA. Brindisi’s legislation would fix that.
Brindisi’s legislation would extend VA burial benefits by requiring the VA to offer a commemorative urn, plaque, or medallion to families whose Veterans were cremated. Osier’s widow, Donna Osier, thanked Brindisi for his work.
“This bill does not add a benefit, it corrects an oversight in the original law,” said Donna Osier.
“An honorably discharged veteran should receive the same recognition regardless of their final resting place. No family member should receive a letter of denial from the VA because of this.
With the passage of this bill those veterans not buried, will receive the final acknowledgement of their service. Our son Chris and I would like to thank Congressman Brindisi and his office for all their work to bring the Chuck Osier Burial Benefits Act to this point.
I began this journey to fulfill the promise I made to Chuck, over four years ago. I hope I can finally do that.”
Brindisi, a leader on Veterans issues in the House, is leading the charge to get this legislation passed and signed into law.
Earlier this year, President Trump signed three Brindisi provisions supporting Veterans and our nation’s servicemembers into law.
Text of Brindisi’s legislation can be found HERE.