Legislators seek to restore guard benefits

Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

JUNEAU - State lawmakers will consider asking the U.S. Department of Defense to restore retirement pay for members of a World War II Alaska militia.

The pay was discontinued after a military analysis determined a law recognizing the Alaska Territorial Guard's service as federal active duty had been misinterpreted.

The Army recently announced it was ending benefits for 26 surviving members. It also suspended applications for 37 others. The benefits amount to as much as $557 a month.

Sen. Charlie Huggins, a Republican from Wasilla, is proposing that the state cover the benefits at least until they can be reinstated - roughly $10,000 a month for the 26 surviving members.

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