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Fort Bragg soldier to be guest at State of the Union address

A Fort Bragg soldier who had a bill filed in Congress on his behalf will be U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson’s guest at tonight’s State of the Union address.

Hudson, whose congressional district includes Fort Bragg, supported the bill in the past year on behalf of Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal.

Stayskal, a Moore County resident, has advocated for reforms in military medical malpractice after being misdiagnosed with what is now Stage 4 cancer.

In May, Hudson co-sponsored the bipartisan Sergeant First Class Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019.

Debate on the law reached a compromise in the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law in December.

Officials said the compromise does not repeal the Feres Doctrine, which has prohibited military service members from suing the federal government since 1950.

The bipartisan legislation allows the secretary of defense to review service members’ claims on a case-by-case basis, Hudson said in December.

It allows service members to seek compensation for medical malpractice unrelated to their military duties and caused by a Department of Defense health care provider, he said.

In a statement Monday, Hudson said the bipartisan reforms in the National Defense Authorization Act would not have been possible without Stayskal.

“I’m honored to have him as my guest to President Trump’s State of the Union to highlight this historic story of bipartisanship and, of course, (Sgt. 1st Class) Stayskal stepping up to fight for what’s right for all of America’s men and women in uniform and their families,” Hudson said.

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