Stabenow Announces Senate Passage of Her Legislation to Improve Transition for Returning Servicemembers

Stabenow’s legislation passed as part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act

Thursday, June 27, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced that her legislation to make sure returning servicemembers have access to community resources when they transition back to civilian life passed the Senate as part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. The House is expected to take up its version of the National Defense Authorization Act in the coming weeks and both chambers will then work on a conference agreement.


Stabenow’s legislation would allow servicemembers to opt into a system that will send their contact information to their respective State Veterans Affairs Agency. This system will ensure that returning servicemembers and their families are properly connected to local community groups – including veterans service organizations – that can provide employment, healthcare, and other transition services.


“After fighting for us overseas, our veterans should not have to fight for services when they return home,” said Senator Stabenow. “With today’s passage of my legislation, we are one step closer to improving the transition process for our men and women in uniform.”


“We applaud Senator Stabenow’s efforts on behalf of Michigan’s veterans,” said Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director, Zaneta Adams. “As the central coordinating agency for Veterans in Michigan, this legislation will assist MVAA in connecting transitioning service members to benefits they’ve earned and opportunities for employment, education, housing and other transition-related services.”


During a series of roundtable discussions Senator Stabenow held across the state with Michigan veterans, commanders, and service providers, one of the top concerns raised was the difficulty servicemembers have in transitioning from a life in the military to civilian life. There are a number of community resources available for transitioning veterans, but many veterans don’t know about them. At the same time, many organizations that offer assistance aren’t aware of people in their community who could use help. 


Stabenow’s legislation directs the Department of Defense to ensure that servicemembers receive regular information at different points in their military careers about professional development and education opportunities such as Military Tuition Assistance. The bill also creates greater accountability by requiring the Defense Department to ask veterans about their transition experience on a regular basis.