From an email from Congressman Harry Mitchell -
Yesterday marked the 66th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the historic GI Bill into law. The original GI Bill was one of the greatest achievements of the 20th Century in America, giving our returning veterans a strong foothold in the economy and serving as the foundation for what became known as The Greatest Generation.
As the representative of 65,000 veterans, the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and as a former teacher, I was honored to help renew the commitment to our veterans in 2008, by introducing a new GI Bill for the 21st Century, which was signed into law the same year.
The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act extends the education benefits to all members of the military who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001, including activated reservists and National Guard.
Specifically, under the legislation,
•Service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan receive up to four academic years of educational benefits, including stipends for housing and books.
•Veterans have up to 15 years after they leave active duty to use their education benefits.
•Veterans can use the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, in which the federal government will match, dollar for dollar, any voluntary additional contributions to veterans from institutions whose tuition is more expensive than the maximum educational assistance provided under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
This updated GI Bill is critical to strengthening the nation’s military. Not only will it helps attract high quality recruits who are interested in earning a higher education, but it will open doors for our veterans, strengthen our economy, and help military recruitment. Recently, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs reported that 233,424 veteran beneficiaries have taken advantage of the new GI Bill and have been paid to date.
I believe that we have a responsibility to serve those who bravely served us. We promised a higher education to our service members when they joined, and it is our duty to see they get it when they become veterans. The care of our veterans, servicemen and servicewomen are not just Democratic concerns or Republican concerns. They are American concerns.
To stay updated, please visit my website to learn more what I’m doing to honor those who have served us.