Global Politics

Education benefits for veterans

(What would your bill do?) the intention of the bill is to mirror the benefits of the people that served during World War II, where all tuition and books were covered. The actual amount given now is about $6,000 a year and their first year they have to pay $100 a year to qualify. That might've been appropriate during a peace time environment, but now they deserve something better. (You're a Vietnam Vet, did you benefit from the GI Bill?) I did. I would say my father was a veteran, my brother, my son served in Ramadi in Iraq and we have a family tradition and I feel strongly about people getting rewarded for service. (Some might say we should think twice before embracing a new spending bill especially since we might be facing a recession.) there's two hesitations on this: one is some people talk about cost but you could pay for this bill for about a week of what we're paying for the war in Iraq. And this is a moral contract we owe to the people serving. The other question some people have had is that it might affect retention, and my belief is that it's going to expand the recruitment base. (It's often been reported that for every dollar invested in World War II vets, seven dollars were generated. Do you see a return on this investment?) I think that's highly likely and I see this as a total plus-plus and a moral obligation from our government. (Why has there not been much movement since you introduced the bill?) It's all President Bush. We need this administration to step up and reward this generation. (What have the presidential candidates said about your bill?) Both Senators Clinton and Obama are co-sponsors, we're still waiting on Senator McCain but I would think he should come on this bill. McCain, like myself, was able to get an education because of Uncle Sam.

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