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Yarmuth, Local Vets Hail Enactment of New GI Bill

(Washington, DC)  As the members of Congressman John Yarmuth’s (KY-3) Veterans Advisory Board filed into his office for one of several meetings with their Representative, Congressman Yarmuth praised the landmark enactment of the G.I. Bill for the 21st Century, of which he was an original cosponsor in the House of Representatives.

“This sends a message that America cares about our troops, not just when our nation needs them to fight in battle, but when they need us; once they return home to build families, careers, and futures,” Yarmuth said of the legislation, which was signed into law yesterday.  “This will allow veterans who come back from combat to seek a degree, where they may not have had the opportunity before.  With 21st century success increasingly dependent on education, this is key to fulfilling our obligation to provide for those who fight for this country.”

Corporal Christopher Lamb, a former Marine also praised the new law.  “The passage of the 21st Century GI Bill marks the federal government’s greatest investment in the future of servicemen and women in over half a century.  “In addition to the return on this investment, it will also help alleviate future problems, for both service personnel and their families.  The passage of this monumental piece of legislation would not have been possible without the dedicated support of leaders like Congressman Yarmuth.” 

America began offering education assistance to veterans during World War II with the landmark G.I. Bill of 1941.  The Post-World War II G.I. Bill paid for veterans’ tuition, books, fees, a monthly stipend, and other training costs.  Approximately 7.8 million people, more than half of all American war-time veterans, utilized the benefits given under the original G.I. Bill in some form.  Every dollar we invested in the education of veterans, generated seven dollars for the economy through better jobs, increased innovation, and expanded consumer spending.

In recent years, the provisions of the Montgomery G.I. Bill have not been able to meet the needs of veterans returning to civilian life.

Major provisions of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill include:

  • Increased educational benefits would be available to all members of the military who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001, including activated reservists and National Guard.  To qualify, veterans must have served at least three to thirty-six months of qualified active duty, beginning on or after September 11, 2001.
  • The bill provides for educational benefits to be paid in amounts linked to the amount of active duty served in the military after 9/11.  Generally, veterans would receive some amount of assistance proportional to their service for 36 months, which equals four academic years.  Veterans would still be eligible to receive any incentive-based supplemental educational assistance from their military branch for which they qualify.
  • Benefits provided under the bill would allow veterans pursuing an approved program of education to receive payments covering the established charges of their program, up to the cost of the most expensive in-state public school, plus a monthly stipend equivalent to housing costs in their area.  The bill would allow additional payments for tutorial assistance, as well as licensure and certification tests.
  • The bill would create a new program in which the government will agree to 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 G.I. Bill
  • Veterans would have up to fifteen years, compared to ten years under the Montgomery G.I. Bill, after they leave active duty to use their educational assistance entitlement.
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