U.S. House pass legislation for National Guard paid time-off benefits.

AL MADINAH, Iraq, Army Sergeant Jeff Woodford, a native of…

AL MADINAH, Iraq, Army Sergeant Jeff Woodford, a native of Walker, Minnesota, speaks to an Iraqi civilian waiting for medical care on May 16, 2007. Citizens of Al Madinah As Siyahiyah take advantage of the medical care being provided by soldiers from 1st Iraqi Army Division running a Cooperative Medical Engagement (CME) with the help of Able Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion of the 136th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division. Sgt Woodford is a medic with A. co., 2-136th CAB, Minnesota National Guard. 2nd MLG. Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Bobby J. Segovia.

The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed legislation Tuesday ensuring that the Minnesota National Guard and more than 49,000 troops nationwide will get paid time-off benefits they were promised before they were shipped overseas last year.

The Senate is expected to clear the same bill soon.

The House bill, carried by U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., exempts troops who were deployed before the Pentagon issued new restrictions last October limiting paid time off. Some troops, including members of the famed Minnesota “Red Bulls,” faced the loss of as much as a month of paid time.

“This was clearly an injustice. It needed to be fixed,” said Kline, a retired Marine colonel.

Source: Star Tribune

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