"June 1, 2012, marks the 25th anniversary of the first permanent Department of Veterans Affairs-administered Montgomery GI Bill. Enacted in 1987, the landmark New GI Bill Continuation Act offered a life changing incentive for veterans returning from active duty to the workforce. By offering veterans access to higher education, it both strengthened our national defense and helped revitalize our economy.
"The GI Bill has proved over the years to be a boon for many of our veterans. Veterans are able to return home with a plan for their future. The education they receive helps many enter the workforce and provide for themselves and for their families in ways that were not previously possible.
"This program has blessed our nation and continues to do so by benefiting not only veterans, but many sectors of the economy by injecting highly qualified individuals to the workforce and the community. Veterans are able to combine the skill sets they learn both from their schooling and from their military training often become excellent leaders and contributors to society. As I have said in the past -- hiring former service members for patriotic reasons expresses appreciation and respect. Hiring them for business reasons gets results.
"Our veterans fought to protect our freedoms and way of life, and as they serve our nation in its time of need, we must remember them in their time of need. Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to preserve our way of life, and the American people are indebted to the men and women who served our nation. I am proud of the work Congress has done to improve veterans' benefits. It is important that we continue to honor our commitments to our nation's veterans through legislation that benefits them, like the Montgomery GI Bill.
"So as the former Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Benefits, and as a grateful American, I want to pay tribute to the tens of thousands of veterans in Idaho and the millions in the United States who have given us so much."