Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) made the following statement in advance of the four-year anniversary tomorrow of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill being signed into law:
"Saturday marks the four-year anniversary of the landmark Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which I was privileged to introduce on my first day in office. We began with a simple concept--that those serving since 9/11 should have the same opportunity for a first-class future as those who served during World War II. I'm very proud to say that we were able to do that and it continues to be a great investment in the future of our country through the people who have served.
"In the 1940s, the first G.I. Bill helped transform notions of equality in American society. However, benefits awarded under subsequent G.I. bills were not as expansive as the original bill. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is the best veterans' educational program in history. It pays for tuition, books and a monthly stipend in order to give our veterans a first-class shot at the future.
"Since May 2009, more than 1.2 million people have applied to use the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and more than 745,000 have used the benefit, many of whom would not have had the opportunity to attend college otherwise. Educated veterans not only have an easier transition and readjustment experience, but they boast higher income levels, which in the long run increase tax revenues.
"We can all take pride in saying that we have made a proper investment in the future of those who, since 9/11, have given so much to this country."
Signed into law on June 30, 2008 and implemented three years ago, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill offers returning service members up to 36 months of benefits including payment of tuition, fees and educational costs, plus a monthly housing allowance while enrolled in full-time training.
In 2012, Senator Webb introduced bipartisan legislation to protect the integrity of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill from widely reported abuses by certain schools. In the interest of preserving the greatest G.I. Bill veterans and servicemembers have ever had, his legislation would require schools participating in educational assistance programs through both the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to meet the same educational standards currently required for Title IV federal programs, such as Pell Grants.
Senator Webb served as a combat Marine in Vietnam and later as counsel to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. He served five years in the Pentagon as a Marine, an assistant secretary of defense and as Secretary of the Navy. In the U.S. Senate, Senator Webb currently chairs the Personnel Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee and sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee.