11 December 2009

MOAA Celebrates Military Spouse Residency Relief Act Victory on Capitol Hill

/PRNewswire/ -- Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) President VADM Norb Ryan Jr., USN (Ret.), joined Sen. Richard M. Burr (R-NC) and Rep. John R. Carter (R-TX), military spouses and congressional staff at a MOAA-sponsored Capitol Hill reception to celebrate enactment of the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act and recognize those who played leadership roles in getting the initiative signed into law.

The new law, signed by President Obama on Veterans Day 2009, will reduce voting and state tax challenges military spouses have faced with every military-ordered move. They will now have the option to elect the same state of domicile as their active duty spouse, without having to change state residency with every relocation.

"This great victory was crucial to ensure the states to recognize that military spouses are serving our country, too," Ryan said. "Rebecca Noah Poynter and Joanna Williamson are two military spouses who had a great idea, and exercised authentic leadership in convincing Congressional leaders of its importance. MOAA is proud to have been a lead blocker and tackler in helping these stars cross the goal line."

"Military spouses are our real unsung heroes, and anything we can do for them is a reward to the country," said Rep. Carter, who championed the bill in the House of Representatives. "It's a common-sense bill, and we found a lot of common-sense cosponsors in Congress to help us support it."

"There's no question that military spouses make many sacrifices in support of our Armed Forces," said Burr. "That's why I introduced the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act in the Senate, and [why I was so proud to see] it signed into law on Veterans Day."

"MOAA identified this as one of our key initiatives for military families. It's a great example of military spouses speaking out and getting things changed," said Joy Dunlap, MOAA's Deputy Director of Government Relations. "This is just one of a long list of initiatives that we hope to get accomplished to help military spouses and their families - and with spouses speaking out, more improvements can be made."

Acknowledging MOAA's strong support in this gratifying victory for military spouses, Poynter called Ryan up before the gathering, saying, "I recently received my MOAA membership renewal notice and I'm giving you my renewal check right now!"

MOAA is the nation's largest association of active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, and former military officers and their families and survivors, and the fourth-largest veterans' association, with more than 370,000 members. The association promotes a strong national defense by advocating equitable treatment of those who serve and have served their country in uniform.

MOAA Selected Legislative Goals for 2010
MOAA Celebrates Military Spouse Residency Relief Act 12/10/09
S. 475 - Military Spouses Residency Relief Act 11/11/09
MOAA Applauds Hill Action for Military Spouses 11/02/09

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