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Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MICHAUD. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

First of all, I would like to thank the chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee and the staff of both the majority and the minority for their work in putting these two bills together before us today.

I rise today in support of this bill, H.R. 4057, a bill requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and members of the Armed Forces through the provision of information on institutions of higher learning, and for other purposes.

Mr. Speaker, our brave men and women of this country put their lives in harm's way to ensure that our freedom is protected. Their actions are without reservation or consideration to what may become of their lives. We must honor their service by ensuring that they have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream when they come home. This includes making it affordable for them to buy a home, protecting their employment while they are deployed, and allowing them to pursue a postsecondary education.

Our servicemembers are trained for the worst when they are deployed, ready to fight in combat, and, if necessary, make the ultimate sacrifice. But when they return home, the battle to transition to civilian life can be difficult and frustrating. With the passage of the post-9/11 GI Bill, which provided generous education benefits, many veterans and their dependents took this opportunity to pursue a higher education and a better life.

However, it is not enough to provide a benefit if the veterans do not have the proper information on the educational opportunities available to them. They need the right tools at the right time to help them determine which school is the best one for them. That is why I support strongly H.R. 4057.

This bill will provide our veterans with the necessary information to make an intelligent and informed decision when deciding to pursue a postsecondary education or vocational training opportunity.

Education is a key factor for a successful professional life, particularly for servicemembers that may have some difficulty translating their military skill to civilian employment. This bill requires a collective effort from agencies, institutions of higher learning, and Congress to help veterans succeed. Furthermore, this bill can help ensure a better, well-trained workforce for a more competitive America.

I ask my colleagues to join me in support of H.R. 4057, and I respectfully reserve the balance of my time.

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