By Terry Trucco
Introduced today by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md) and Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md), the legislation would create a program that allows Americans to donate hotel reward points to members of the Armed Forces traveling to receive health care and to their visiting families. The proposed program, Hotels for Heroes, complements the national Hero Miles program that provides free round-trip flights through donated miles for wounded soldiers recovering at military or veterans’ medical centers as well as their friends and families.
“The creation of the Hotels for Heroes program is the next step in providing military families with the support they need when their loved ones are wounded or injured,” Senator Cardin said in a statement.
Since its introduction in 2003, Hero Miles has issued 25,000 tickets to wounded warriors and their loved ones, all made possible by frequent flyer donations.
Through Hero Miles, frequent flyers donate miles on airline Web sites. Hotels for Heroes would work in a similar way with hotels posting their participation on their Web sites. Which hotels will join? Expect those with robust points programs, a spokesperson for Senator Cardin said.
The Congressmen hope to fast-track the legislation, which enjoys strong bipartisan support, the spokesperson said. It’s certainly timely: Veterans Day is November 11.