Many reservists and National Guard members have been surprised to discover they won't receive such benefits as Post-9/11 GI Bill assistance after months of active-duty deployment. This is due to a somewhat new addition to a federal law called Section 12304b, which allows deployments of reservists without the usual benefits.
High costs led to the removal of a provision in this year's major veterans bill that would have given older veterans the same caregiver benefits received by wounded post-9/11 veterans. The 76 provisions that did pass include benefits for homeless veterans, scholarships for surviving military spouses and honorary veteran status for Reserve and National Guard retirees.
If sequestration takes effect next week, the Defense Department won't be able to choose which programs will be cut, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Agencies have to apply the cuts at the "program, project and activity" level, which means the Pentagon would have little flexibility in protecting specific programs.
The 2013 defense authorization bill, which was recently passed by Congress, includes a provision making taps the official National Song of Remembrance. The House version of the bill had included rules for how civilians and service members should conduct themselves while the bugle call is being played, but those rules were not included in the final bill.