The GI Bill helped build today’s middle class. It sent millions of World War II veterans to college, to work, and to the suburbs. Tom Brokaw called it “a brilliant and enduring commitment to the nation’s future.”
One way we make sure that the GI Bill endures is by updating it to meet the times. So today the House is set to take action on the biggest GI bill expansion in a decade. Here’s what H.R. 3218 does:
- Right now, veterans have to use their education benefits within 15 years of the end of their service. We’re taking those limits away. From now on, new servicemembers will be able to use the GI bill’s education benefits throughout their lifetimes. They will have the flexibility to get an education later in life. This is a big change, and it’s why we call this the #ForeverGIBill.
- Another big change concerns post-9/11 Purple Heart recipients, who need to put in three years of service to receive full benefits. The new law will give full GI bill eligibility to all post-9/11 Purple Heart recipients, regardless of how long they have served.
- And this GI Bill update gives veterans a better shot at in-demand science and technology jobs. A pilot program will help veterans take advantage of non-traditional technology courses. And benefits will be extended by nine months for veterans enrolled in STEM five-year degree programs. This is good news as we work to improve job training and close the skills gap.
The American Legion says this bill will mean “a new era for all who have honorably served in uniform, and for the nation as a whole.” According to Student Veterans of America, it will represent “a new era for education for veterans.”
Just last month, the president signed into law major legislation to bring real accountability to the VA. Now we are building on this work, and we are going to keep at it so that our veterans and their families get the care and treatment they have earned.