Spanberger, Carey Lead Bipartisan Effort to Waive Passport Fees for Family Visiting Injured Servicemembers Abroad

The “No Passport Fees for Heroes’ Families Act” Would Apply to Family Members Visiting Injured Servicemembers Who Are Not Yet Medically Cleared to Travel Back to the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Mike Carey (R-OH-15) introduced bipartisan legislation to waive passport fees for family members obtaining a passport for the purpose of visiting an injured servicemember overseas.

Servicemembers injured while serving overseas often must remain abroad until they are stable enough to be transferred to the United States. In the event of an extended stay, the U.S. Department of Defense will often arrange for a family member to travel to visit the injured servicemember — however, a valid passport is still required. Under existing law, passport fees are waived for family members attending an overseas funeral or memorial service for a fallen servicemember. The No Passport Fees for Heroes’ Families Act would expand upon that precedent and waive passport fees — including passport expedite fees, as visiting a combat-injured servicemember is often time-sensitive — for family members visiting servicemembers who are not yet medically cleared to travel back to the United States.

“When a parent, spouse, or sibling receives the dreaded phone call that their loved one has been injured in combat, that family member should not have to worry about the extra cost of obtaining a passport to be by their side. Our nation’s servicemembers — and their families — deserve our highest standard of care and support for their immense sacrifice,” said Spanberger. “I’m proud to once again help lead this bipartisan legislation to give our military families a small measure of peace of mind at an incredibly difficult time — and to help our heroic combat-injured servicemembers receive the comfort and reassurance of a loved one.”

“The last thing military families need is added stress and expense when going to visit their loved one in a time of illness or injury,” said Carey. “As a veteran myself, I understand that families serve, too. We’re proud to lead this bipartisan bill to support our military families when they’re needed most.”

Click here to read the full bill text.

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