Senator Garagiola was a Sergeant, who served as an airborne soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1995 to 2001.
Senator Garagiola founded the bipartisan Maryland Veterans Caucus, in 2004 and served as the Senate Chair from 2004 to 2007. He continues to be a strong advocate for veterans and has successfully pushed for legislation to:
* Establish the Maryland equivalent of the GI Bill for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to help cover the costs of a college education.
* Reduce Military Retirement State income taxes.
* Create an Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children to facilitate the transfer of children in military families among schools in different states.
* Expand behavioral health services benefits to all Maryland veterans of foreign wars.
* Establish a Maryland Veterans Trust Fund to provide grants and loans to veterans and their families as well as to public and private programs.
* Extend property tax exemptions for disabled veterans to include commissioned officers of the Public Health Services and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
For more information about the Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship Program, please visit the Maryland Higher Education Commission website.