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Senate passes Wyden’s Gold Star Fathers bill


A bill sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., that wouldextend the same federal hiring preference to fathers that is available to mothers of servicemembers killed or permanently and totally disabled in action has cleared the Senate.

TheGold Star Fathers Act, which passed the Senate on Monday, takes its name froman unofficial symbol ofparentswhose children are killed in action. Such parents are referred to as “Gold Star parents” because they traditionally display a Gold Starflag as a symboloftheir loss and sacrifice.

The federal government has long recognized the sacrifice of Gold Star families by granting unmarried and separated Gold Star mothers – and unmarried and separated mothers of totally and permanently disabled veterans – a 10-point hiring preference when they apply for federal jobs.

The Gold Star Fathers Act would make thishiringpreference gender neutral, extending it to unmarried or separated fathers of servicemembers killed in action or totally and permanently disabled.

“These families whose sons and daughters have been killed or disabled in combat have already made huge sacrifices for this country,” Wyden said. “We mustensure that the federal government recognizes these fathers as well as these mothers who have given so much for this country.”

The bill now goes to the Houseof Representatives.

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