PUBLISHED: 5:16 PM on Wednesday, April 20, 2005
State supports Guardsmen deployed to combat zones
Legislation aimed at alleviating some of the financial burdens of national guardsmen deployed in a combat zone passed the Alaska House of Representatives today. The Committee Substitute for HB 122, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom (R-Anchorage/Eagle River), passed unanimously.

At a time when the federal government is considering action to better serve our military men and women in foreign countries, Alaska's guardsmen deserve the state's support as well. Passage of HB 122 allows the state to pay life insurance premiums for our guardsmen deployed to a combat zone.

"Those who serve in the National Guard often do so in addition to their day-to-day career. When they are deployed, some families lose their total income. We want to be sure that those families can get relief if they choose," said Representative Dahlstrom.

The legislation would provide those called to duty the opportunity to seek this assistance to ensure that personal lives and financial situations do not suffer as a result of their service. For example, state loans may be deferred, utility companies will not be permitted to disconnect services and cellular phone contracts may be terminated without penalty on behalf of the individual who is deployed.

This is a straightforward and simple measure to provide some additional support to these men and women who offer their time to defend our country.

"Guardsmen don't serve in the military full time," said Rep. Dahlstrom, "they are our co-workers and next door neighbors who volunteer to serve our country when called upon, providing a little extra assistance is the least we can do." HB 122 next moves to the Senate.