For Immediate Release
HARRISBURG – A measure authored by Senator Mike Brubaker (R-36) that will require the Commonwealth to recognize a federal document outlining deceased service members’ wishes regarding their remains is on its way to the Governor for his signature.
Upon entering the United States Armed Forces, service members are required to complete a Record of Emergency Data (Department of Defense Form 93). The form designates an individual who is to be responsible for the service member’s disposition of remains if he or she would die while in active duty. The form is updated before a deployment or every 12 months during an annual personnel review to ensure the federal government has the most up-to-date information regarding a service member’s wishes. However, Pennsylvania does not recognize the document as an acceptable form for the military.
Senate Bill 586 will require the state to honor the expressed wishes of a service member as contained in DD Form 93. If signed into law, the Commonwealth would join 40 other states in recognizing the federal document, according to Brubaker.
“I am so pleased this legislation has received the full support of my colleagues in both chambers of the Legislature and is on its way to becoming law,” he said. “It’s time we clarify that these decisions be determined based upon the wishes of the person in military service as authorized on the form and avoid instances of civil actions between family members over the ultimate disposition of a fallen service member’s remains.”