Trump signs Sen. Moran backed law

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 11:02 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIBW) - President Trump has signed Senator Moran’s legislation expanding adaptive housing for veterans into law.

Senator Jerry Moran says President Donald Trump signed the Ryan Kules and Paul Benne Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act of 2019 into law on Aug. 8, 2020. He says the legislation was introduced by himself and Kyrsten Sinema and is named after Spring Hill, Kan., native, Army Colonel Paul Benne and Captain Ryan Kules which expands Specially Adapted Housing eligibility for blind and seriously injured veterans.

“Veterans have sacrificed much to serve our country, and I am pleased this legislation focused on improving their quality of life has been signed into law by President Trump,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation will provide our nation’s veterans greater support through a modernized and expanded SAH grant program, allowing the grants to be utilized in a way that best fits the needs of the veteran. This legislation would not be a reality without Colonel Benne and his wife, Christine, whose willingness to share their story and continued advocacy has undoubtedly helped veterans for years to come. I was thankful to work with them and Captain (ret.) Ryan Kules, another Fort Riley soldier who used the SAH grant program and who continues to be a fierce advocate for disabled veterans, to expand this important program for veterans.”

“I thank Senator Moran for his tireless efforts on behalf of our nation’s veterans in passing the Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act of 2019,” said Ryan Kules, Combat Stress Recovery Director at Wounded Warrior Project. “This badly needed reform will give thousands of seriously wounded, injured, and ill veterans the financial support to adapt their homes to better match their changing stages of life. As someone formerly stationed in the Great State of Kansas at Fort Riley, I want to personally express my appreciation for Senator Moran’s hard work and leadership to get this bill passed and signed into law.”

According to Moran, in 2013, Col. Benne developed a medical condition leading to his retirement from the U.S. Army after 23 years of service. He says Col. Benne was rated 100% disabled at the time of his retirement and in 2016, was fitted by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a wheelchair as well and applied for a SAH grant since neither the Benne’s home nor vehicle could accommodate the new wheelchair.

Moran says after over a year of navigating the VA, Col Benne and his wife, Christine, contacted Moran’s office for assistance. He says in three months Col. Benne was given a favorable decision on his adaptive housing claim and provided SAH grants by the VA.

According to the Kansas Senator, the legislation has been developed to prevent future difficulties similar to those of Col. Benne and will allow blind veterans to access this grant program and double their maximum number of awarded grants from three to six per veteran. He says it also increases the number of authorized applications per year from 30 to 120.

Moran says Col. Benne was a Spring Hill native and University of Kansas School of Pharmacy graduate that has served at both Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth during his 23 years of service. He says most recently he served as chief of the Department of Public Health at Irwin Army Medical Hospital in Fort Riley.

According to Moran, Col. Benne passed away on Dec. 7, 2019, due to complications from his disability. He says Benne’s wife, Christine, resides in Manhattan and is an active member of the Fort Riley-Central Kansas Chapter of the Association of the United States Army.

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