New Legislation Could Expand Space-A Eligibility

March 15, 2012 | Terry Howell

Under the current rules, Guard and Reserve members qualify for Space-A travel. However, unlike active duty family members, dependents of the Guard or Reserve currently cannot fly Space-A. So-called, “Grey Area” retirees (retirement eligible members of the Guard and Reserve who are under 60 years old) are excluded from traveling OCONUS on Space-A.

If passed, House bill 4164 and its companion bill in the Senate, S. 2112, would authorize DoD to offer space available worldwide travel on military aircraft to dependents of Guard and Reserve members, “gray area” retirees, and widows and widowers of retired members and dependents.

Here are the current six eligibility categories:

  • CATEGORY I: Emergency travel on a round-trip basis in connection with serious illness or death.
  • CATEGORY II: Environmental Moral Leave
  • CATEGORY III: Ordinary Leave- Members of the uniformed services in an ordinary or reenlistment leave status
  • CATEGORY IV: Unaccompanied dependents on EML- Unaccompanied family members, 18+, traveling on EML
  • CATEGORY V: Permissive Temporary Duty and Students
  • CATEGORY VI: Retirees- National Guard/Reserve Components, the Ready Reserve and Retired military members.

Learn more about Space-A travel on Military.com. You can also visit JohnD.’s Space-A website to access flight schedules and location specific information.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about allowing “gray area” retirees, dependents and surviving spouses to fly Space-A.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. This would be an awesome benefit, help fill seats on military flights, and be used by myself and my family! Please consider this change!

    • Chris Alf says:

      While it may fill seats, it doesn't help pay for the flight like a PCS or TDY traveler…so your logic doesn't wash.

      • It doesn’t matter if it is PCS or TDY – it costs the same if the seats are full or empty so your logic ‘doesn’t wash’. Its about time gray area retirees got at least some useful benefit while waiting to draw their pennies…

        • Absolutely. The plane flies whether filled with space-a or not. Let's get away from this politically correct horseshit about the budget.

  2. This should apply to 100% disabled veteran & spouse/family member as well, even if on a MAC/cargo flight.

  3. ted moore says:

    I totally disagree with the above pending legislation! Any pending legislation should be to allow all 100% permanent & Total Disable veteran(s) that are mobile and with a medical clearance should be allowed this benefit. After-all,
    they are the ones that suffer daily physical and mental pain from the defense of
    our great nation. It is about time, that these veterans be granted this benefit, which is very small considering what they & families endure daily.

  4. killo serafin says:

    i think its great to let our active and retired military fly for free.

  5. Great news ! This would be an awesome benefit that I would take full advantage of.

  6. GRADY W. WILSON says:

    NOW YOU CAN HAVE HUNDREDS MORE WAITING IN LINE TO NEVER GET A FLIGHT. WHY NOT MAKE IT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DEPENDED ON, I AGREE WITH THE DISABILITY PRIORITYL

    • Let us not be Selfish.

      Reservists Families made sacrifices too. They took care of the Kids when their Spouse was away.It is not a joke to be alone taking care of two,three or more kids. Reservists made sacrifices and took risks the same way Active Duty veterans did.C'mon now let us not be thinking of ourselves only.SHARE

  7. Have you ever taken advantage of this benefit?? If your retired your in for a real treat. You watch kids go before you left and right and others. It can take days. Its like the other benefits I have,but can't ever use. The older you are the more it hurts. Good luck on this one. Never use commissary,Base exchange , can't even use New Boston AFS recreation becuse only base personnel (who are maily cilivian 90% have a deal going on. So much for benefits. Oh yes! do use the Medical, However even that has some funny rules.

  8. jimmy mishoe says:

    100 percent veterans will love this take their child to show them where they were stationed at regular air fair is to high even if charged 50 dollars a peice a great benefit for the veterans

  9. jimmy mishoe says:

    military plain ok c129 c140s c147s c157s

  10. Larry Snyder says:

    Think it’s a great idea. I’d love to have my wife jump on a C 130. I am a retired active duty Nam Vet and reserve deployed forward during Desert Storm. I am 65 , wife of 43 years has paid her dues too. I agree about adding DAV too. I was medevac dust off and they really have earned their benifit.

    • Perfparjer says:

      She has been eligible to travel space-a for a number of years. DOD has not made any announcement since they were testing this in the earlier part of the 2000's. Space-a military carriers have been allowing this stateside. It was always allowed on overseas legs. I'm with you and only found this out recently. I'll also have 43 years with the same women at age 65. Go figure.

  11. This typical, let us expand those that can do this and then cut benefits in other places due to the expense of new programs. It was klike the eduactional benefits I was suppose to get while on active duty, but my position made it where we were not allowed to take classes and once in the position you were not allowed to get out unless it was out the door.

    The type thing should be those currently surving with their depedents and then to the retired members that have actual served. Stop adding programs and then cutting things or raising the cost tothose that have already served due to rising cost.

    • You obviously didn't read the article, or know anything about the way Space-A travel works….

  12. D.E.WALBORN says:

    WHAT HAPPENED TO 100% DV

  13. Paul Figures says:

    It would be a great incentive for 100% DAV’s with an indef exp date to be honored space A travel. Many were career soldiers who suffered service connected disabilities disqualifying for immediate reenlistment thus forcing an involuntary ETS. With severe disabilities most could not travel, nevertheless it would truly compensate our personal sacrifice for our country and contribute permanently to our honorable service to our beloved nation.

    • Ab-Salute-Ly Right not being able to end a retirement because we were hurt, disabled. like always they treat us as second class. They end your career send you to the VA without even a kiss.

    • Hector Rosario says:

      I'm 100% disabled but ambulatory; no limitations of movement. So if my doctor were to give me the OK to fly, why are people like me being ignored in this new legislation, when it has been brought up in the past? Why can't the DOD and VA get together on this to allow 100% disabled this benefit?

    • It would be extremely difficult to Travel Space "A" if you have a 100% disability. Most Planes are not Disabled Friendly. Besides Veterans with a 100% disability have enough Money to buy themselves a Commerical Plane Ticket.

      Give those Veterans with out money the chance to Travel.

      • Are you kidding me!!! Get a life…
        100% disabled naval combat veteran…

      • Are you kidding me!!! Get a life…
        It’s clowns like you that screw it up for other veterans.
        From a 100% disabled decorated naval combat veteran !!!

      • I am 100 disabled through va. Disabled is more than physical you know

      • I am 100 disabled nam vet. Disabled is more than physical you know. You need to check your disabled brain here you moron.

  14. M. Brown says:

    It would be wonderful if congress pass a bill authorizing DAV's with a minimum disability rating of 70% to use base commissary, PX and military flights. This can be a win win for everyone. We're not asking for everything the retiree's get, but this could be a good thing for DAV's. The exchange can use the extra income as well as the commissary. Disabled vets have paid thier dues also.

    • J. Chaplin says:

      As a former advocate of the commissary, I have to say that my use has declined. WalMart is pretty competitive and closer.

  15. Fran mccabe says:

    What about 100 percent dav—- again.

  16. It will be interesting to see if there will be another category added. As a Cat VI I wonder if it will be even more difficult to be selected for a flight. Without wishing to sound too harsh "I" as the military member who did spend the 20+ years wouldn't neccessarily be happy to be competing with those folks added to the new policy. Meaning I'm quite okay for a new Cat to be added. Also dubious if this is a red herring to divert attention to the fact other benefits could be taken like Tricare.

  17. I believe it is already difficult enough to go Space A, adding reserves and their dependents adds to this already overburdened benefit. The 100% DAV earned their right to use Space A.

    • So based on that theory, I guess a reservist doesn't deserve an honors funeral for dying for his country. Get real.

    • Active, reserve or guard…. we all gave our time and fought the same. We signed the same contract, trained the same and took the same oath. Everyone is equal!

    • What a selfish approach! I'm a OIF (in theater) vet as well as dedicating 25 years of my life to this country in the reserves and active duty. So, you're saying it's okay if a new enlistee-active duty troop, who has yet to sacrifice anything more than 12 weeks of basic training, should have a right that I do not. Wake up Tessa! See what the guard and reserves have done for this country just since 9/11.

      • First of all, Space-A is a privilege not a right. Second, recently, I have done a lot of research on Space-A AND have had friends (fellow reservists, retired, one each :)) used the service. BLUF, you have to do your homework. As far as the regulations are concerned, the discrimination between active and retirees has to go away. Depending on the time of year and the destination, there are flights with tons of seats available.

    • kblackne says:

      not necessarily. I know many with 100% DAV who, in fact, have no disability at all. Others, get their rating because of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, all completely unrelated to actual military service.

      One doesn't "earn" the right to use Space A because they have migraine headaches and other bullcrap excuses for monthly "handouts".

      • You are so wrong. Anyway you look at it, it still adds to the disability rating. Do some homework on it and you will be enlightened. What about sleep apnea? What about gerds and acid reflux? What about prostate cancer or any kind of cancer one gets while in service to the military? I can go on and on. Just because you don't have a missing limbs doesn't mean you are NOT disabled.

        • Amen to that, I got prostate cancer – it killed my sex life!

        • What about the vets that were in the jungles when they sprayed Agent Orange and now have Prostate Cancer and Diabetes, etc., because of it. Anybody remember Admiral Zoomwald? He sprayed the Delta and killed his own son with Agent Orange. There are thousands of guys already dead that never got DAV for anything. I lost half a kidney and the partial use of my right leg for 45%. Now that I am getting older these "disabilities that would not interfear with my civilian life" are just about stopping a normal life all together. I know Guys that lost hearing and sight that never got anything after Nam. None of it is fair, but disabiled personnel retired or othrwise should get some priority above bottom.

      • Everett Childers says:

        There are some malingerers who have 100% disability ratings so, in your opinion, does a shipboard accident resulting in a damaged spine which ultimately resulted in a back broken in four places qualify in your opinion?

        I can assure you I would rather have taken a bullet for an injury and eliminate four surgeries, numbness and chronic pain. Looking at me you would never guess I have the damage and limitations I have because I would never let on that anything is wrong for others to see. Bad days I stay home like a lot of other damaged people. You can't always tell the challenged from the unchallenged. After all it is Space A and the 100% DAVs would be low on the priority list.

        • Tell it like it is brother…

        • Tell it like it is brother…
          I just love it when other veterans turn on fellow veterans. Thank God I didn’t serve with people that turned on one another. Stay safe brother…

    • My husband who is 100% DAV, would like this benefit. He feels that he could visit other VA facilities, if this was offered to him.

    • dearjane says:

      They are doing a service for our country or have served as well, probably doing the job that most of our spouses do not wish to do and deserve most, if not all the benefits we are entitled to. Besides, Space-A travel is a privilege, not a benefit. That is why you are put into certain categories. You must think everything should be handed to you on a silver platter, otherwise you wouldn't have made such a selfish comment.

    • I have a hard time believing that you would make this comment. I guess by other people's reactions you can tell they don't agree with you. All I can say is that I am a Vietnam Era active duty veteran and since 1998 have been in the Air Force Reserves. I have been deployed twice once to Ali Al Salem AB in Kuwait and Bagram Afghanistan. Our reservist make up probably 50-60% of the forces deployed, give or take and I promise you they live eat, fight and breath right beside their active duty components. We bleed just like they do, we train just like they do and we have their backs just as they do ours. Our bodies come back in flag draped coffins just as the active duty and we leave the same footprints on the battle fields as they do. No medal can replace a hero whether active or reserve but we both serve under the same flag and provide a blanket of freedom for our country. Do we deserve the same benefits and rights as active duty? The answer is yes, there should be no difference.

    • What have you done to earn this benefit? I have deployed to combat on three occassions called to protect the country after 9/11 and spent two tours of duty on peacekeeping missions. I have been rated at 70% disability by the VA all while serving in the National Guard. Now you tell me how I have not earned the right to use this benefit. I would agree to not let dependents of any type use this overburdened benefit to include you.

  18. As a '100% -Permanantly & Totalally Disabled Veteran.. I would applaud the decision to 'FINALLY' give DAV'S the R-E-S-P-E-C-T we deserve! .. by approving Space-A for 'DAV'S

  19. I'm Retired and a DAV, I feel we should not be so judge mental regarding all Categories of the military.

    Cat's will be Cat's (Categories). Who's on next will depend on the Category.

    I will just say put yourself in that Cat.

    We VETS are VETS Active , Reserve, Guard we are VET's

    Untill you have experienced the hell of war and have served you should not judge.

    Regards, Dan

  20. Raymond J. Chelte says:

    I'm a 100% DAV and appreciate if we would be included in the Space A travel on Military Aircraft too!

    • I would only agree if….the disability were 100%, fully service connected and lastly, combat related.

      • One would have to go back to regs and the VA disability rating protocols. Until that time, 100% is 100% regardless of the number of accumulated ailments resulting in the rating, combat related or not..

  21. L. Warner says:

    I am retired Air Force and I am all for allowing the grey area Vets/dependents and particulary widows/widowers of those who bravely served and died many years prior to their spouses. This has been an issue as far back as I can remember. Let's face it you will not overcrowd the system since many will not be able to travel anymore and some never use the system even if they are eligible. I have taken hops when the plane has no cargo and about 4 of us on board. Yes, some months of the year will be more difficult for hops but they deserve this benefit.

  22. Diana Haines says:

    I have used this benefit as a reservist, an active duty person, and as a retiree. It is a great benefit. I think the categories are great. I do believe it would be great if grey area dependents could fly and also widows of retirees. I don't know much about DAV. Could the 100% DAV sit in a jump seat? No one is waiting in a long line to fly, you sign up you have a date-time stamp you know before you get there if there is a chance of getting on a flight. If you have not used this benefit don't dist it. If you only tried once and tried to fly to Hawaii and did not make it cause you wanted to go when everyone wanted to go don't dist it either. The folks I know who have used this love this like I do. I have wanted to fly sometimes and there were no seats but it was a chance for something "free" I made alternate plans.

    • Diana, you bring up some good points. Yes, DAV's can sit in a jump seat. but then again, it depends on the type aircraft and the aircraft layout. Anyway you look at it, it is still a unique benefit that is a privilege and not a right.

  23. Kevin Downing says:

    I'm a DAV and I think it would be a great idea to allow all DAV's Space "A" travel. We served this country just like the rest and it would be greatly appreciated if this bill was passed.

  24. I believe widows/widows of deceased retired services members should be afforded the opportunity to fly Space A if at all possible. After caring for my husband for l7 yrs, after he died I looked into the possibility and learned that I had to be accompanied by the sponsor. As if I couldn't fly alone!
    The family behind the service member has never received acknowledgement for their "service". Please change this archaic policy.

  25. The last 12 years of my career was spent working behind the counter in Passenger Terminals. I don't have a problem with the extended Space-A elgibility.

    However, EVERYONE must realize and understand, SPACE-A TRAVEL IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT. It can be taken away as well as given. The mission priority is cargo and duty passengers. It's not the Passenger Agents' fault if no seats are available, or the mission cancels/diverts. They can not tell you, definitively, when the plane will be fixed or when weather will clear enough to allow take off. And there is no such thing as "a schedule of unscheduled flights".

    • I agree completely. I volunteered at a AMC terminal for a few years and always told new people to the program, to not go unless you had money for the trip home and unexpected expenses. It is a wonderful way to travel but you have to be flexible. I surly hope this bill is passed

  26. orcl_mania says:

    Having traveled Space-A extensively, I can tell you that it isn't a big a benefit as some of you may think. It can be VERY costly. More costly than flying commercial unless you strike it lucky. I've been a Cat 2 and still had difficulty. Cat 3 was a crapshoot, and forget it if you are a Cat 6. Of course, the time of year is a factor but the reality is that most people don't want to go to Germany in the middle of January. You can get stranded leaving yourself with high hotel costs, especially overseas…if you can find one (since most of the major terminals have little space A rooms then you have to go on the economy). Know where you are trying to get to. You could find yourself at an unknown terminal with no where to go except out the door at 2 in the morning. Space A travel sounds like such a great benefit but those who don't know any better get familiar before jumping. Nice to think that Congress is thinking about all of us but that usually not the case. An empty benefit that sometimes isn't worth the effort.

  27. night shift says:

    This sounds great, but only for a limited number of people. First, there are so few bases with planes these days, and may be fewer after BRAC, that it not convenient. I go to Grissom in Indiana to fly sometimes, but I have to drive 70 miles to even get the upcoming schedule. They will not fax or give over the phone.
    Second, the flight on a KC-135 is not very comfortable, sit on canvas benches, cold on long flights and you have to carry all your baggage onto the plane yourself. Not sure if a 100% totally disabled person could put up with it.

  28. We can’t afford the number of planes and flights we have now nor should we make additional comittments to support others – no matter how deserving.

    • ???
      No one is adding flights. Flights are for cargo and duty passengers, based on duty / military requirements. Others have been allowed to fly SPACE AVAILABLE – the plane is traveling anyway, might as well fill up the empty seats.

      This is a no-cost expansion of a privilege – not adding flights.

      • @ retiree, Thanks, I agree fill them seats up, all military and families are tax payers too. This is a good benefit that most retirees including myself , never have an opportunity to use. I have been told that it takes a little planning and coordination, I know from over 20 years as an active duty Infantryman that good ear plugs are a must ha ha,but I may use it some day and would like to know its still available. I have ZERO experience in the Guard /Reserve. I did notice that when a war starts we make SPACE Available to fly their butts into combat areas so yes let them fly as well, besides there are very few in that category anyway.

  29. Retired USAFR says:

    As a Retired Reservist I have earned the SA flying priviledges to include overseas travel. I have pulled just as many deployments and worked just as hard as my active duty counterparts. I have been put in harms way too. I hope they do expand the SA priviledges. We would be in the last category anyways.

    • Kevin Holman says:

      I have the exact same background and agree with you that we as Retired Reservist should have the Space A benefit given to us.

      Retired CPO USNR

  30. Why this bill does not include disable veterants we are part of the history too.This is a wonderfull thing, what ever be the outcome.

    • Everetrt Childers says:

      I wrote Gen. Shinseki about 100% service connected veterans being eligible for space A flights if physically and mentally stable. This could be a simple procedure. If you can walk up to the counter unaided, you are fit. Shinseki's office sent the request through the proper channels. If there is space available then a past military person should be able claim the seat. A 100% disabled person has given a lot to the government and they need to recognize this. Currently the privileges are the commissary, base lodging and a few others but no medical from the base. VA only.

  31. Cylian Law says:

    As a recent widower of a military reserve retiree who has traveled extensively with my husband space-available on military aircraft, I strongly support extension of Space A category VI benefits to dependents of Guard, Reserve members identified in HB 4164 and SB 2112. It is the opportunity that is important, not success or failure.
    Not disregarding earllier comments, I'd like to add that some of our most fun trips were space A. Yes, we traveled distances, sometimes across the continent for space A availability knowing being selected wasn't guaranteed. Journeys and accommodations were part of our holiday expenses were exoected. We were delighted when we actually flew Space A. The failures weren't a waste our time, nor a detraction from the journey. Know and prepare for time, costs and failures, enjoy comaraderie and other benefits. Space A travel is an experience itself. Communication, opportunity and flexibility are required in life.

  32. My husband was retired from the USAF and we made many space travail trips.. It is a great experience if you are prepared and want a adventure. We were all over the world. My husband is no longer here and it would be wonderful to travel space- again. Threw the years we have met many great people, some who have become great friends. It is a experience I will never forget and would love to continue. If you are unable to go where you want to you check to see what is close and you try that. If you do not get to the place of choice you enjoy where you are and try some other time. The air crews are great and can be vey helpful.
    Let's hope this will be added to the space-a list.

  33. Alabama Yankee says:

    Am of two minds on this:
    Yes, 100% disabled should be allowed to participate, if they are physically able to. Who decides if they are could be a problem: the passenger clerk at sign-in (probably an E-3 with less than 3 years in), his supervisor (if you can find him!), the Loadmaster/Flight Engineer/Boomer, who believe me has plenty to do and decide without this added responsibility, the Pilot (ditto 'plenty to do'). And what about someone who is 100% Disabled for 'other than physical reasons'. Ever sit next to someone on a 14 hour flight across the Pacific who is not overly familiar with soap and water? This needs some more thought before being implemented.

    • 20 year retiree who is disabled. Who decides if he is physically able to fly???

    • What is the deal with this 100% disabled stuff. I realize they have priority but don't just leave out those with 50% or more. I was shcoked to read some of the other states veteran benefits and all they catered to was 100% disabled vets and that is wrong. Besides unless they have changed the rules, 100% disabled vets can't fly anyway.

    • Are you talking about PTSD??? when you say other than physical, and body odor// Your a pinhead not a patriot, i am sure you had a nice little office job, and probably career garrison pussy, let me guess airforce or navy

    • Johnnie R Colbert says:

      What you haven't smelled sweat before. He may be a little nuts but it's due to what he went thru. He can get a bath and smell sweet but can't do anything for stupid'

  34. adesh nandlal says:

    this is a great opporntunity for guard and reserve military menbers and thier family can enjoy the benefit earned by the menber who have given 20 plus years of service to thier country. I think the elected officials should consider the passing of those two bills in the house and senate. It would definately be a welcomed opprontunity to the families of guard and reserve.

  35. Dave Carlton says:

    If they really want to do this, and I can understand for those who have indeed been in harms way, there should simply be a new class VII for them.

    • I have fought for my country, have been on active duty, and served 29 + years. Why should I or my dependents be afforded any less than anybody else?

    • No they should be in class VI sir. They served this country just like the active duty did.

  36. i am against adding them to the list but if they are added
    they should be at the bottom f the list for eligibility. way too
    many people added that have no right to in my opinion

    • The active duty are no better than the reservist. Yes they deserve this. If you think they don't then go up to one that has had his legs blown off ot has a traumatic brain injury and tell him/her that they should be put at the bottom of the list!

    • you need ot ask yourself why indeed your brain is in "the malfunction mode".
      shame on you, yo r parents must be proud!!!

  37. I spent 22 years in the military. I am a grey area retired Reservist. When calculating my active duty time it is over 15 years, when adding the Reserve non-active duty days in uniform, that is another 2 years… which totals nearly 18 years of physical military in uniform work time. I believe I have earned the privilege, even if it is at the bottom tier. A bean counter or someone one sided afraid of losing space should realize that in reality the impact will be minimal as only a few will actually try to use this space A privilege. It is more of a morale issue. Besides many of those grey area retired Reservists may have put in more time, in as many places, under just as much grueling positions and pressures as those qualifying for higher status. So, don't be afraid someone will bounce you off a list. Honor those that served just as they honor you and appreciate your efforts to carry on. You will change your mind in a few years when you are in their shoes or realize how they have served as much as you.

  38. As a recent widow of a twenty year retired USN CPO I would love the ability to travel Space A and truthfully feel all widows/widowers should retain the privilege of Space A travel

    • I totally agree. I am a widow of a twenty-six year retired USN CWO. Now that I am alone I would love to travel to see friends and family on Space A status. I believe that I am deserving of this small privilege because of the many sacrifices our family made for our country.

  39. Thanks for the information.. I have been looking for help with this for some time.

  40. WACSarge says:

    As a "Grey Area Retiree" if I can'tget my money until I am 60 at least I can travel! I retired in 1993 with a combination of 10 years active duty and 11 years in the National Guard and cannot collect until 2014. I heard that was being worked on to lower the age to at least 55. National Guard and reservists are getting their points a lot quicker with the two wars we have been fighting. The payment at 60 is based on an antiquated system of 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer. TIME TO REVISE!

    • I have already wrote my senators and congressman on several occasions about this. Get the word out and have everybody you know to write them as well.

  41. Billy Montgomery says:

    Im 100% service connected p/t this would be awesome for all of our family’s! Above all I think we earned it!

  42. We need to keep writing senators and congressman about these bills. The more that write in the better the chance it will pass.

  43. dolora says:

    Using the PX and Commissary on base at McGuire and Fort Dix in New Jersey is more expensive than Walmart, Target, Shoprite etc.. The gas prices are the same as outside the base. WaWa has cheaper gas prices. Going on base to shop there is just studpid. As far as Space A travel I think it's horrible that Disabled Veterans (that are able) can't use that benefit yet boy scouts, entertainers, celebrities, invited guests, dependents of all these other people who never served in a war can. Come on, this is a disgrace. It's the truth. Go to the DoD website and see who can travel Space A. This policy is ass backwards.

  44. I can't believe what people are saying. Why would you award a retiree that served during peace time this, but not a disabled vet this? And for the comment about hygiene: have you ever sat by combat arms period. Most smell overseas because they are sweating their butts off from back breaking work. Bottom line is suck it up chief. They've paid their dues. I get so tired of hearing the babies in the military, not talking about all or even most. You degrade guard and reservists as if they were trash. They can die for their country just as they always have but they are not worthy of respect. The government will pay the same for any rank no matter what their job is. For example, an admin makes the same as. infantry, calvary or artillery. They receive hazzard pay too and never leave the fob but you are a combat vet. So stop being shitheads and give soldiers and vets their due. That would be a slap to the face to give it to a widow and not a disabled vet or guardsmen/reservists.I know you've made sacrafices widows/widowers but any more than disabled vets and their families, really. What about a guardsmen/reservists that serves his country and comes home to a job that mistreats them? Employers don't roll out the red carpet for those guys. It is disgusting how one says I'm for the troops and then turns their back on them. The Army is no different. The Army rushes guard and reserve off active duty whether they have problems or not. So it would seem a lot of change is due. Grow up. I'm a veteran of OIF, I do not deserve any more than the next vet especially Vietnam veterans. We still treat them so badly, why is that? As a soldier, you don't pick the time, place or fight. If not for them, we might have had communism instead of democracy. Good day folks. I said GOOD DAY. Thanks to all bets but especially Nam vets. You've done more than most people realize.

  45. Grey area ssg says:

    All the comments I have read carry weight . As a retired reservist / active service soldier . I don’t understand how an active retiree has more privileges than a reserve retiree . 20 plus years commitment is a great sacrifice active or reserve . Ive been a part of both sides . Being a garrison soldier is much easier than being a reservist in many fields . So too categorize a retiree differently I believe is wrong 20 plus years is 20 plus years no matter how you look at it combat garrison active reserve retirement should mean complete and fully eligible !

  46. It's absolutely unbelievable how people act. One type of veteran (combat, active, retired, guardsmen, reservist, disabled….etc) is no more deserving than the other. It doesn't matter if you are speaking of a disabled veteran that is missing a leg or an active duty clerk who works in a supply shop in on board NAS Key West. They both (all) took the oath, suited up and did what was asked of them.
    In regards to Space-A benefits. These ridiculous attempts by some to discourage people from using Space-A by saying it can be more costly (to the traveler) than flying commercial. Sure it "can" be expensive. It can also be very cheap. I have travelled Space-A a lot over the years and I can honestly say that once I truly learned how to use the system and I didn't look at it as being a "right" and instead as a "privilege" it rarely cost me much at all.
    The Space-A system is set up into Catergories (aka Cat's). You will find that dozens of segments of the population is authorized to fly Space-A. Groups like members of the Red Cross, service academy students, reservists, active duty types, reservists, members of NOAA, the Public Health Department…etc.
    These Cat's are basically priority levels. The Cat with the highest priority is the active duty service member who is on emergency leave. Then the levels go down from there. Retired members fall to 6. So this is where this issue should be discussed.
    The issue should not be "if" the Gray Area retires should be afforded this benefit but what category should they get. This also stands true for disabled veterans. I for one feel that this benefit should be afforded to disabled veterans that are at least 50% disabled. For a veteran to be too disabled to reenlist, half of his/her working capacity has been diminished by military service why are we not extending this benefit to them?
    So what Cat do these groups take? I think the Gray area retiree's should fall into Cat 7 ( until they are no longer in the Gray). The 50-70% disabled vets should fall into Cat 7 and 80-100% disabled vets should be Cat 6. There should not be an additional requirement for them to be P&T.
    Honestly many of these individuals will never use the benefit (if afforded to them). Very few used the benefit when they were on active duty. They will not use it now. But that is not even the issue. Afford them the benefit and put them into appropriate Cat's. The system will not get overwhelmed.
    Lastly this weak argument that we are flying birds to cover this benefit is ridiculous. The services fly the planes based on the mission. If there is room for passengers they take them. If they can't they don't. No planes are flown solely to fly Space-A passengers…NEVER!
    I am a pilot and the only issue that I can see (financially) is IF the plane were to be flying empty back to its home base or something. They pilot contacts the passenger terminal and then finds out that there are 200 people wanting a lift. The pilot would then have to account for this with fuel…..possibly. I say possibly because almost all of the time military pilots take on as much fuel as (safely) possible. They don't fly with minimal amounts of fuel. So no matter if they were taking passengers or not they would use the fuel. Additionally, I have flown on MANY hops where I was either the only passenger or one of less than a dozen. This minimal amount of weight does not factor in when you are talking about a C-5, c-130 or c-17. Only when you are talking about small jets or prop planes.
    So let's get pt this and fight to open this benefit to ALL that equally deserve it…….NOW!

    • Charliemed says:

      Sir. I commend you for speaking so well about your fellow veterans. I myself retired with 21yrs and 10mo of service between two tours in the Marines(Active). And the rest of my career in the Army National Guard. I am proud to hear such veterans as yourself speak for all veterans the way you just have. Having said that. I too believe in the very points you have maid regards to our fine veterans having the benefits of using Space-A flights. I hope for all concerned. These changes are made in the near future.

    • Dominick D. says:

      I am totaly DISGUSTED with our elected officials in their miserable and unethical ability to ignore us COMPLETELY! First of all, the Legislation offered, is an apparent smokescreen, as it has been brought up before, and not approved! And the reasoning is, that we Veterans (100%) and others have never really had a strong voice, or lobby that is heard! Unfortunately in war, we basically both STAND, and DIE alone . If for no other REASON, but for all of our fallen COMRADES, we should take this fight directly to Washington in mass, as that is unfortunately the only way to ensure an Ethical and Morality check, on our elected officials! I am absolutely fuming over their ability to completely IGNORE us, because they BOTH can, and NOT enough of us, stand TOGETHER to be heard! WHAT a MORAL SHAME IT IS ! WHO wants to stand with me, please reply

      • You have raised some very valid points. I have always found it hard to believe that the same men and women who have fought so hard for our country never fight to take a stand against the way veterans are treated by our government. As military members we are use to taking and following orders with little to no questions asked. this is true for all ranks. We accept things because we are told that is just how it is. If more veterans stood up and combined our voices we would be heard. I understand that most vets feel as if they are all out of fight, I feel that way too sometimes. Every thing we face as disabled Veterans is a fight. But we need to stand together, or we will fall apart.

    • Yeah it is frustrating that as a 100% disabled vet I can not fly standby on military lifts. But could I take my wife and 2 kids with me if they were to change the system.

    • Juan 50% DAV says:

      Sir, I concur with everything you have said here. I especially liked the proposed category 7. If ever this category becomes available it would be great. As far as the system being overrun with cat 7 travelers, I think not. As stated earlier here this perk would not be used by all those eligible.

    • claudia antoine says:

      I totally agree with categorizing the disabled veterans so that they can have access to flying Space-A.

  47. G in TN says:

    This is a privilege that should be available to all 100% service connected disabled veterans and their spouses. When will the disabled veterans be able to get what is due them without another fight and years of more red tape? Don't you think they have done enough of that?

  48. do the senators and congressman eligeable to use space A? might of known it they get anything they wont. I bet they never served a day in the military I will never vote for any of them.

  49. Wow ! You all got some damn heart. I am blown away from the support you all have demonstrated. I normally keep quiet about these issues because I am a humble 100% disabled Marine Sgt. I would like to go back to South Korea one day (I need a new synthetic mink blanket).Yep , I bought that for $25.00 in Pusan in 1995 and put that sucker right on my cot at Camp Leatherneck in Pohang. Loved that dae gone comforter. I woke up to the smell of night soil (feces fertilizer farmers use) and scrambled eggs from the makeshift chow hall for a while. But I had my blanket. Now, I have you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for not forgetting my comrades and myself. Semper Fi, Sgt Hall,D.L. USMC/DAV

  50. I am medically retired, 5 years service my rating is 30% and i have a blue id card and i have used theses flights before…..are you all discussing just 100% or below as well?

  51. Hello! I've been hoping to travel with my husband of 32 years who just retired after 35 years active duty. 1.) We've never taken Space A and was wondering if it's available to us. 2.) Also, we have 2 widowed retiree Army wives who have not traveled Space A. My husband has suggested I look into taking a trip with them, but we don't know if they can travel Space A. 3.) And, Can I travel Space A without out him accompanying me? Any suggestions and advise is appreciated. Thank You

  52. SGT Talley USMC says:

    WOW, just got back from Travis AFB, checked in on flying stand-by, nope, they said I couldn't?? I am a 100% disabled veteran. The Marine Corp damaged my knees,I got out back in 1976, in the last 9 years I've had three total knee replacements, a right hip replacement and a right total shoulder replacement. Next week, Jan. 18th I am going in the neck surgery, And I Can't Fly?? I wasn't given the opportunity to put in my 20 years. Because of that, I was told I couldn't go standby. We paid the price for our service and then some, I'm not asking for a hand out, I'm asking to be treated with more respect as a 100% Disabled Veteran. I don't have much time left on this earth, my health is on the down slide, all I would like to do is travel to different parts of the world before I'm unable too, my pay isn't enough to allow this :)

  53. Watchdog311 says:

    There is a bill right now in the House… If you do a Google search for "H.R.164, Open Congress", it will take you to a site that keeps you updated on the bill's progress.

    It is in the Armed Services Committee… http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/home

    Email, mail, and fax your reps. If you use the Open Congress link and fill in your address, it will generate a message to your House and Senate reps.

    Honorable Chairman Howard P. McKeon
    Armed Services Committee
    2120 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-4151
    Fax: (202) 225-0858

    This is the body of my message to them…

    "Versions of this bill have been floating around the halls of Congress for decades. I pray that you will move it out of committee and onto the floor.

    Taking care of Disabled Veterans who were not medically retired from their service, yet sustained injuries severe enough to warrant a permanent and total rating is a small benefit to extend to us. Many of us pine for our days in the Military and traveling to see the wonders of our sacrifices, here and around the world.

    The aircraft we would be able to fly on give priority to our Nation’s defense and we would only be occupying seats which would have been left empty. It is hard to imagine why this has not been enacted before.

    Your endorsement and help in passing this legislation would certainly be another accolade you could cite as your support for America’s permanently Disabled Veterans. And it would be nearly cost-free."

    Let's get on it!!!

    • I was wondering, if someone with a Facebook account could start a FB page to start a letter writing campaign to every congressmen/woman sending them the above letter. As well as using that website where you can start an online petition to go around. Maybe between the two, we could bring enough awareness and get some national attention to this issue to where it stops just being a thoughts bouncing about the halls of congress and actually something that gets done about it. I would suggest stating in the letter that "we don't wish to be prioritized over anybody who is currently on the list, and making the DAV a category 7" this way we may not be so opposed by the AARP and the military retirees who feel pitted against us in thinking they'd be now having to vie against us as well for a seat.

      I could probably start the online petition, but I don't have a FB account. Can someone who does, want to take up the cause and make a page regarding this issue and we can see where it goes? Hopefully if we could garner enough attention on the imbalance and how we've been almost deliberately left out of this privileged when so many non-military persons are able to enjoy it. :(

      Anybody up for starting a FB page?

  54. Watchdog311 says:

    Don't go to the Military.com forums… you got moderators there that don't want Vets to spend time on this issue because they think we are wasting time on this.

    They delete entire topics after you challenge their fiefdoms…

    • HARLEN says:

      I AGREE

    • Idmtmedic says:

      I disagree. I have not been one that holds my tongue and the majority of my posts have been allowed and a warning or two has been justified. Even the ones that I have had deleted I won't argue with. Very open and fair IMO.

    • Watchdog311,

      Yep, my experience with the moderators is that they outnumbered the posters, and they hate links that don't support their ideas, and they do like their DELETE button.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Then find another blog….plenty out there. It is free right? Would love for you to have a blog and see the fireworks lmao. Your moderaters would have carpel tunnel within an hour from the delete button.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Better yet Charles let's start one together. We pick a topic and we both write an editorial opinion on it. Similar to PRO-Veterans and ANTI -Veterans issues. Now which one would you pick? Lmao

        • idmedic,

          Just what is the point of this post! Do you post to me just for attention, or is there something you really want?????

          "Then find another blog….plenty out there. It is free right? Would love for you to have a blog and see the fireworks lmao. Your moderaters would have carpel tunnel within an hour from the delete button."

          • Idmtmedic says:

            No more whining, you complain about the site yet keep posting? Feel free to post away to any and all posts. I happen to challenge any info that is suspect……..ahmmmmm yours 100%. Others not so much.

          • idmedic,

            LMAO Big Time, we are talking about the forums, not this site. Jesus, can't you follow along, or is it that you just want to whine about something, whether you're right or wrong. LOL

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Ohhh so this isn't part of military.com forums? You would like to clarify now? Lmao

          • idmedic,

            You are here: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/

            The forums are here: http://forums.military.com/eve

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Great then I guess I have not had the opportunity to give you my honest opinion on your OTHER forums, but thank you for the info. I will certainly check those out and hope I can assist them in the DELETE button in regards to your posts. I will assist them in their efforts.
            Later gator

          • idmedic,

            Go ahead and do what you wish, I haven't been over there nor have I made a post there for about a year now.

            I see you like to use much of what I leave you in a post, Later Gator back at you.

            Laughing My Arse Off Big Time.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Smiling, so you left because your opinions were not well received? Imagine that? So what is the problem with starting your own blog/ forum? You certainly have the time. Curious to see that come to fruition. I will sign up luckity split!!!!

          • idmedic,

            More of your dumb arse questions. Why in the world do you want to know why I don't post somewhere anymore????? Why don't you go over there, sign up, and read all my old posts, then come back over here and tell everyone what you've found.

            If you wish to go to my blog/forum/message board, then like I've posted to you before, go to:

            Jesus, what is wrong with you?????

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/

            I mean chit, how many times must you ask the same question, with me giving you the same answer along with the web address????? Huh, how many times?????

            Enough of this, take you chit over to my board, or somewhere else. Stop being an ankle bitting pest!

  55. Johnnie R. Colbert says:

    I am a 100% totally and permanent disabled service connected Viet Nam vet. who only put in 3 years of active duty service. I would think I would be able to get space-A-flights because when I was young I felt I owed my Country my detication so I honored my Country by serving. I came home to a nation that was very hostile, people didn't like the fact I had served honorably. I find now that I don't qualify for space-A-flights because I didn't retire or I'm not one of the other many cats. What kind of a deal is this we should be getting what we are due. God bless you all and thanks for your service(something we didn't get when we came home). J.R. Colbert

  56. So what Happned to House Bill 2164 and Senate S.2112 that would authorize Dependents of Reserve and Guard Members to Avail of Space-A?

    It was Introduced in 2012 March 07. Any News…..anyone?

  57. I am a 100% disabled veteran. I do not regret any of my time on active duty or working on DOD contracts after my active duty in the armed forces. I have served in the part of the government that only certain will ever know about and although much of my service was not performed out in the open, what little I did do helped kept our soils free. I lost fully functioning parts of my body for my country and everytime I saw one of my fellow veterans being appriciated for their service it made me feel even the proud of my achievements. (I say this next part with much respect to my fellow veterans) I feel it a shame that my 100% disability caused me to be excluded from a priviledged inclusion I was destined to have after I retired from my time in service.

    The only difference between the veteran that is retired and the veteran that is 100% disabled is their forced time of departure. Everything else it the same.

  58. This whole issue enrages me. I served and was denied mny things in life because I was 100 % disabled due to my military service. Nobody told me to quit, they told me to keep moving and I did. I got out with an honerable discharge…..an "HONERABLE DISCHARGE" and was later awarded 100% disablity due to service connected duties. When I was active I flew hops. Who the hell is incharge of this debacle? I am outraged that they deny me the privilage to use a hop. I lost thousands of dollars due to lost work over the years and get paid peanuts already. This rule is a total slap in the face to me.
    What shitbag would vote against a 100 % disabled vet? Many seats are not filled anyways wo what the hell is going on? Who's the old fart bag that thinks it's ok to deny a disabled vet. I have a god damn honerable disacharge!!!!!
    If a retireee is as able to fly, why can't I? I couldn't re-inlist becasue I was disabled. Why not hand me a rope with my DD-214.

    • Army Dis Vet says:

      JDG, you need to contact your local Air Force Base. I'm a totally and permanently disabled veteran (did my time and was honorably discharged) and just recently found out about whether we can fly on Space A flights. I talked my local Air Force base after about 20 calls and found out that you and your dependents can fly on them. We are category 6 and if your dependents are underage you have to fly with them. You have to have the military ID that has DAVPRM under status/grade. Hope this helps

      • I live in Orlando and I am a 100% DAV with my DAVPRM ID. When you called the air force base after 20x who did you talk to, to find this out? In Florida we have several Air Force & Navy bases and was wondering who I would call on those bases to talk to, to inquire about getting on a Space A flight? I'm like everyone above. I served with pride and did it was a smile. I didn't ask to be disabled or quit, was forced too by my disabilities. I was honorably discharged & I am glad I receive my pension to live on, but it's hardly enough and would love to be able to go visit my children who now live in other places. Any help and/or direction you could give me to help me get a hold of the right persons in charge on base to find out if I can use them to fly, would be so greatly appreciated. :) Fellow Service Member

  59. Vietnam 67-68 says:

    These posting are so sad to read, and unbelievable that our government would
    allow this to occur in the first place!!!!

  60. OK Everybody I went ahead and made a FB account and made a support page regarding this issue.. Let's hope I made a decent page and we get some support and our plight out there. Please everyone, if you have a FB account, log in and like it, post your comments on it and send everybody it's way… Lets see if we can change it. :)

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Space-A-Tr

    • Aqua009@gmail.com says:

      Thanks. I shared the page with the following heading….

      "A small benefit which would allow 100% disabled vets to use empty military flight seats AFTER active duty military and all others are given first choice.

      Contact your representative if you support this. The seats are empty… why not let them use them?"

  61. Bill was brought up and passed in June 2013 by Senator Bilirakis. We are so close this time. Now is the time to really take action and let our voices be heard! Write your local Senator's and tell them to vote YES! when this Bill comes up for a vote. Let them know how much it will mean to you as a DAV to receive this benefit and how much it will enhance your life to be able to have the opportunity to be able to afford to visit your friends, family and grown children!

    Do it now! We so close!

    Bilirakis Introduces Space-A Travel for Disabled Veterans Amendment: http://youtu.be/-2Uv7xHP0BI via @youtube Write your Senator to vote YES!

    • Aqua009@gmail.com says:

      And those haters from the forums can go suck lemons!

      What a bunch of sour-pusses.

    • You are quite right I am a 100% disabled vet and it would greatly enhance my morel and I would feel more equal if I could fly space-A on DOD aircraft with my DOD ID. I will right my Kentucky Senator ASAP so I can see my parents before they past away. I Iive in a state vet home in Idaho and it dose cost a lot to live in a state home $1400 a month to live in one @ 100%.

  62. Roy Brinson says:

    Boy it's amazing how our government work against our veterans, we have honorably served our country and now after finally getting my 100% disability I still have a uphill battle just to get something like being able to fly on DOD aircraft. I will all of congress could see what we have to deal with each day and then maybe they would stop talking a good game an show the Veteran they truly support us. This bill is truly a item that would give us something back. Please support this bill for all of us Veteran who are able to travel. RL. Brinson

  63. John Holmes says:

    Why Would Dependents be a higher priority than Disabled Veterans,??

  64. I became 100% disabled because of my service in Iraq. With almost 13 years of total military service, I would have retired. However because I became disabled before I had a chance to retire I am not entitled to the same benefits that retirees are… that is not fair. once we have given all to our country and we are no longer useful, we are discarded.

  65. jack Abott says:

    Jack Abott

    I can't believe what Congrss are waiting for not voting and passing for 100% disable veterans to be able to use space A flights. It's a shame that our law makers let down those brave men/women who gave their lives and body parts to defend this country and keep America strong and number one. I hope those individuals who lobby against this bill have just one nightmare bad dreams like disable veterans have almost everyday just to feel how disable veterans are living and sleeping.

  66. death from above says:

    Is hard to believe that boys scouts, students, congress men (never serve in
    the armed forces,) teachers and others who never served are allow this benefit
    yet a 100% totally and permanent disabled vet (some gave parts of their body
    and others part of their mind) on behave of the above mentioned group and the
    rest of the nation be denied of this benefit.
    semperFy