2020-2021 Chair of the Government Relations Committee
Donna EldridgeDonna Eldridge’s introduction as a new military wife, began at FT Rucker with numerous tours of duty in Europe, as well as stateside assignments, from California to DC. They were fortunate to have a son born while stationed in California. He has brought much joy and happiness to their family. This wonderful journey came to an end, when her husband, Colonel Bo Eldridge, passed due to a service connected cause. Donna is an active member of Gold Star Wives of America, Potomac Area Chapter, in Northern Virginia, where she serves as President. She has been a member of the Government Relations Committee for the last six years. Donna feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as a high school administrator, working with and learning from the outstanding teenagers of today. It is with honor that she gives back to the community through volunteering in numerous organizations, supporting the military and military families.
About the Committee:
The purpose of the Government Relations Committee (GRC) is to improve and maintain a positive, working relationship of Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. (GSW) with Congress, while keeping members informed of important legislative issues pertaining to surviving spouses and their families. GRC is comprised of volunteers from all regions of the GSW Organization who wish to help further the Committee’s goals.
The GRC provides both oral and written testimony when requested to Congressional committees regarding benefits for both survivors and their families. We also work with VSO’s to jointly support the improvement of benefits for Veterans as well as for surviving spouses and their children. We are striving to create a more informed community of GSW members through social media, the GSW web-site, eblasts, and the quarterly newsletter. Questions, concerns, and ideas regarding our benefits are welcomed and encouraged from all members of GSW.
Currently the GRC is working with Senator Tester, (D-MT) to promote the stand alone Bill # S. 1047 in the Senate for a DIC increase, The Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Improvement Act of 2019. Our companion Bill # HR 3221 in the House is sponsored by Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT). Please refer to DIC fact sheets. The GRC is also actively seeking Co-sponsors to support for these two Bills. We encourage all GSW members to speak to their Senators and Representatives to support and VOTE for these Bills.
In February 2020, members of the GRC participated in the celebration on Capital Hill of the elimination of the SBP/DIC Offset. Thank you to all of the GSW members who worked so hard for 19 years on this important legislation.
On March 3, 2020 GSW was invited to give oral testimony before the Joint House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs. On March 4-5 members of GSW participated in Color the Hill Gold by visiting members of the House and Senate.
To Contact Donna with questions or ideas for the GRC, check your 2020-2021 GSW Directory.
Members of GRC are Misty Brammer, Claire Manning-Dick, Jeanette Early, Cyndie Gibson, Lupe MaGuire, and Pat Collins Miller.