Chairman Hall, the sponsor of H.R. 952, said, “The original intent of Congress in 1941 in enacting the statute in question, was to extend full cooperation to our war-time wounded veterans. Over time, VA regulations, procedures and General Counsel decisions have resulted in a more restrictive and unreasonable process for our veterans trying to prove an injury or stressful event occurred in combat. It is time to clarify the meaning of ‘combat with the enemy’ that reflects the realities of modern warfare and affords our veterans the benefits that they have earned.”
Specifically, H.R. 952 would clarify the definition of “combat with the enemy” to include “active duty service in a theater of combat operations during a period of war or in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities.” This expansion would help ease the adverse effects on veterans of having to provide non-essential corroborating evidence of engaging in combat with the enemy when a medical diagnosis is present and the injuries are consistent with the duties and hardship of service.