Equal Op­por­tu­nity Given For Gold Star Fathers

Escalon Times - - NEWS -

U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jeff Den­ham (R-Tur­lock) on Mon­day sup­ported the Gold Star Fathers Act, which ex­tends the fed­eral hir­ing pref­er­ence avail­able to moth­ers of ser­vice­mem­bers who are killed in ac­tion or per­ma­nently and to­tally dis­abled to the fathers of these ser­vice­mem­bers. The bill passed the House unan­i­mously.

“Our Gold Star Fam­i­lies rep­re­sent those who have given in­nu­mer­able sac­ri­fices on be­half of our coun­try,” said Rep. Den­ham. “My long­time friend and vet­er­ans ad­vo­cate Mike An­der­son is a Gold Star Fa­ther him­self, so this bill hits es­pe­cially close to home. All Gold Star Fathers should re­ceive the same hir­ing pref­er­ence as their wives as we rec­og­nize the con­tri­bu­tions fam­i­lies have made.”

In 1948, Congress es­tab­lished a hir­ing pref­er­ence for fed­eral jobs for the wid­owed, di­vorced or legally sep­a­rated moth­ers of vet­er­ans who died in ac­tive duty in wartime or suf­fered a per­ma­nent and to­tal dis­abil­ity con­nected to such ser­vice. This mea­sure did not cover fathers of these vet­er­ans. This bi­par­ti­san bill, S. 136, ex­tends that priv­i­lege to Gold Star Fathers, mak­ing it gen­der neu­tral.

Mike An­der­son Sr. has been em­ployed by Rep. Den­ham’s of­fice since 2011 and cur­rently serves as Rep. Den­ham’s Vet­eran and Mil­i­tary Li­ai­son. At the time that Mr. An­der­son was hired, Rep. Den­ham was the only mem­ber

these of Congress em­ploy­ing a Gold Star Fa­ther or Mother. The Gold Star Flag cur­rently flies over Rep. Den­ham’s Modesto of­fice and out­side Rep. Den­ham’s DC of­fice in the Long­worth Con­gres­sional Of­fice Build­ing.

Mike An­der­son Jr., a United States Marine, was killed in the bat­tle for Fal­lu­jah on Dec. 14, 2004, dur­ing Op­er­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom. Cpl. An­der­son was 21 years old. He grew up in Modesto and was a grad­u­ate of Jo­hansen High School. He served in Ja­pan, Guam and Haiti be­fore be­ing sent to Iraq on Sept. 11, 2004. Cpl. An­der­son was as­signed to 3rd Bat­tal­ion, 5th Marine Reg­i­ment, 1st Marine Di­vi­sion, I Marine Ex­pe­di­tionary Force, based at Camp Pendle­ton.

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