Standing with leaders from veterans service organizations, education, and housing, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Patrick Murphy (D-PA), former U.S. Army Captain and Iraq war veteran, today announced that they have introduced legislation in both chambers of Congress to enact a new GI Bill for the 21st Century. The new legislation, the 21st Century GI Bill of Rights Act of 2007, will expand educational, housing and entrepreneurial opportunities for soldiers, veterans and their families. Senator Clinton and Representative Murphy were joined in announcing the bill by Captain Mike Smith (Retired)(USN), President, Reserve Officers Association; Dennis Cullinan, Director Legislative Affairs, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Joe Washam, Chief Liaison of Government Affairs, Salute America's Heroes; Pat Combs, National President, National Association of Realtors; and Dr. Robert A. Scott, President, Adelphi University, who attended college as a recipient of the original GI Bill. They were also joined by representatives of many of the organizations endorsing the bill, including the Military Officers Association of America, National Military Families Association, AmVets, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology.
"The GI Bill has helped millions of soldiers transition successfully to civilian life and it has been one of the best investments we have made as a nation. Now it is time to update and modernize the GI Bill for the 21st century to meet the needs of today's soldiers, veterans and their families, from education to housing and microloans to start a small business. This is the right way to invest in the future of our servicemembers and reward the service they have given to our country," said Senator Clinton.
"With a new generation of veterans putting their lives on their line, it's time for us to honor their commitment and sacrifice," said Congressman Murphy. "Thanks to the original GI Bill, countless veterans earned a good education, bought a home or started a business. As a soldier who deployed twice since 9/11, I am proud to help the next generation live that same American dream."
The 21st Century GI Bill of Rights Act of 2007 will guarantee eligibility to all servicemembers -- Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserves -- who have served since September 11, 2001 and deployed overseas in support of a combat operation. Eligibility will also be extended to Active Duty personnel who have served a minimum of two years on Active Duty since September 11, 2001, and National Guard and Reserve personnel who have served a minimum aggregate of two years on Active Duty since September 11, 2001.
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