Recently, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the passage of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. In 2008, I made sure to play a vital role in advocating for its passage because I knew what this meant for our returning heroes, and for the nation’s economy.
The road to economic recovery needs to include the pursuit of higher education by our younger generations. These will be the future doctors, scientists, engineers, and most importantly, job creators. And who better to invest in than the people who put their lives on the line to defend our country.
The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill modernized the Vietnam-era Montgomery G.I. Bill and brought it into the 21st Century. As a result of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, so many of our nation’s veterans have continued on to pursue higher educationsomething many of whom would have never been able to achieve otherwise.
Since the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill went into effect on August 1, 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has paid $29.9 billion in tuition and benefits. These benefits include the full amount of tuition and fees for a state operated college or university, a monthly housing allowance, tutorial assistance, license and certification test reimbursements, and an annual books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000. Of course, these earned degrees mean nothing unless they are followed by a job after graduation.
Last month, my office in Las Vegas co-hosted a Veteran’s Job Fair and workshop with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, in partnership with the State of Nevada Department of Training and Rehabilitation. It was a very successful event that connected veterans and their dependents to employers seeking to hire them. More than fifty vendors were in attendance to highlight their willingness to hire our heroes, and some were even given offers on the spot. Nearly 250 veterans and dependents attended this event that also included workshops for veterans to help them with their transition to civilian life.
We must never forget their commitment to our country, and I vow to ensure we continue our promise to America’s veterans.
Contact Harry Reid at http://reid.senate.gov/