STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) received the Indiana American Legion Distinguished Public Service Award at the Indiana American Legion State Convention today. Rep. Dermody received the award for his work on Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 577 that protects the rights of disabled Hoosier veterans and ensures their children continue to receive benefits to further their education.
"Protecting our military's welfare for the countless number of sacrifices they have made for us is very important to me," said Rep. Dermody. "I have always had the utmost respect for their service to this country. When I first saw the initial draft of the bill which included language that might have decreased the support for their children's education, I was upset and knew that something had to be done. "
The award was presented to Rep. Dermody by Indiana American Legion Department Commander, Leland Baxter.
Under the version of Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 577 that passed, the disabled veteran must have been an Indiana resident at the time of their enlistment for their child to be eligible for the financial aid. The award recipient must also maintain a GPA of 2.5 or greater during their postsecondary education and may continue to receive the award until they are 32 years old.
SEA 577 also requires the Commission for Higher Education (CHE) to maintain records of students attending a college or university under a Higher Education Award. It also requires the postsecondary institutions to provide the CHE with student data requested by the CHE necessary to maintain the provisions of the Higher Education Award.
"I am honored to receive this award, and I am glad that I was able to work with my fellow legislators and veterans groups to ensure that the children of disabled veterans will continue to receive the benefits they need to further their education," said Rep. Dermody.