Saturday, January 06, 2007

Webb's New GI Bill

Keeping a promise he made during the campaign, Jim Webb's first act as Senator was to introduce a sweeping expansion of veterans' educational benefits, Senate Bill S.22. Here are the highlights from the Marine Times.

Called the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, Webb’s bill would boost benefits so they equal the amount paid to World War II veterans. That would mean the GI Bill would cover the full cost of tuition, room and board plus a $1,000 monthly stipend. His bill also would drop the $1,200 enrollment fee active-duty service members must pay to be eligible for the GI Bill.

In a statement, Webb, formerly secretary of the Navy, said the current GI Bill “served this nation well during peacetime, but times have unfortunately changed. The demands placed on [service members] in this post-9/11 era are much greater than when Congress established the current program.”

Webb said that with many military members serving two or three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, “it is past time to enact a new veterans’ education program modeled on the World War II-era GI Bill.

“This is exactly what our legislation does,” he added. “It will provide veterans of the 9/11 era with the same program of benefits that our fathers and grandfathers received after World War II.”
Marine Times article

It seems only fair that American military members who have been required not only to put their lives and families on hold, but also their educations and prospects for advancement, be provided the resources to improve themselves and their prospects for success.

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