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Old 04-29-2008, 09:24 PM   #1
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Default Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/29/new...ef=mpstoryview

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Cheated. Baited and switched. That's how veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan say they feel about military recruiters who sold them on how the GI Bill would benefit them.

Marine Todd Bowers did two tours in Iraq and returned to the United States to face student loan problems.

Soldiers, Marines and airmen, speaking at a Capitol Hill rally Tuesday, said they are not given enough funds from the bill to cover college expenses as they were promised.

Todd Bowers served two tours in Iraq.

"I came home proud, very proud of my service, with a Purple Heart on my chest and a Navy commendation medal with a 'V' for Valor," he told a crowd of veterans.

"But I didn't come back to the education I was expecting. I came back to three different types of student loans, two of which had gone to collections."

Najwa McQueen said she joined the Louisiana National Guard in 2004 on what she thought was a promise to help pay for her college education.

"They kind of sell you a dream," she said after the rally. "You think you're going to get all of this stuff, and in reality, you don't get that. I just kind of believed what my recruiter told me, which is not the truth."

McQueen left behind her husband and 18-month-old daughter in October 2004 and served 10 months in Iraq. After her service, she enrolled in college and found that her total benefits from the GI Bill would be $400 a month for four months, totaling $1,600. Her classes alone, she said, cost $1,000 each.
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The GI Bill was created in June 1944, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944. It was designed to help educate and train military veterans returning from WWII. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 7.8 million of 16 million troops who served in WWII received educational or vocational training from the GI Bill. Video Watch Bowers and others say they are disappointed with GI benefits

Today, the benefits from the GI Bill cover about half of the national average cost of college including tuition, board and room. As of October 1, 2007, under the current GI Bill, the maximum for active-duty servicemen who were honorably discharged is $1,101 a month for 36 months to help cover tuition, room and board, and books. For reservists and National Guard members, the average is lower: typically $440 a month.

"Not even [enough to cover] community college," said Steven Henderson, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marine Corps reservist Evan Aanerud, who served in Iraq, enlisted right out of high school.

"After putting my life on the line for America, it would have been nice to be afforded the educational benefits we were led to expect," he said.

One of the early beneficiaries of the GI Bill was Petty Officer 3rd Class John Warner, who served in the Navy in WWII and went on to earn undergraduate and law degrees. The GI Bill covered both degrees in full at that time.

Warner is a U.S. senator from Virginia, and he spoke to the veterans at Tuesday's rally.

"I would not be privileged to have served now these 30 years in the United States Senate, and at one time chairman of the Armed Services Committee, had it not been this great nation giving me the opportunity through the GI Bill to receive that education, preparation and training," he said.

Warner is one of 58 senators co-sponsoring Sen. Jim Webb's Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act.

Webb's proposal is designed to dramatically expand educational benefits for military veterans. A version of the bill in the House has 241 co-sponsors. Covering active-duty National Guard troops and reservists, as well as other service members, it aims to cover the cost of the most expensive public in-state universities and a monthly housing stipend. Those who served on active duty for three or more months after September 11, 2001, would be eligible.

For private colleges with typically more expensive tuition fees, the bill seeks to match private schools' contributions over the course of four academic years.

"This is not a difficult concept. For all the people saying this is the new Greatest Generation, this is not a difficult thing. This is the easiest way to prove that," said Webb, a Virginia Democrat and Vietnam veteran.
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The new bill's cost is estimated at $2 billion. House Democrats are discussing a proposal to add Webb's bill and other domestic priorities to the Iraq War Spending Bill, according to several Democratic leadership aides.

President Bush warned Tuesday at a Rose Garden news conference that he would veto any additions to the bill.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

Yep. As I stated earlier:

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I would have made the same EXACT decision he did. The U.S. Army nor the VA are holding up thier end of the bargain for the kids that are coming home wounded or otherwise (i.e, condemned barracks, shotty and corrupt hospitals, courts martial following virtually every engagement and on and on). He has an opportunity to make millions and provide a future for himself in professional sports....something that most of us can only dream about. He's following HIS path, not yours and not mine, HIS. Anyone who says they'd rather go to combat than the NFL if faced with the same choice is a F&*$ing liar (period).
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

The military treats the veterans like shit
Do you really think our fearless leader cares about any soldier?
Thats why when Clinton or Obama become president......ALL veterans will receive a "heros health card" (or similar name). and they will be able to receive healthcare from a doctor of their choice.........Not the shitty VA
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

I am a big supporter of our vets. However I wonder if the Dem's introduced this bill (which I hear is full of other bull crap) knowing that Bush would have to veto it, despite the good things in it, and make the dem's appear like the vets friend in an election year.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

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I wonder if the Dem's introduced this bill (which I hear is full of a lot of bull crap) knowing that Bush would have to veto it, despite the good things in it, and make the dem's LOOK like the vets friend in an election year.
How can you say that? Oh yeah, because it makes perfect sense.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

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Originally Posted by GBMelBlount View Post
I am a big supporter of our vets. However I wonder if the Dem's introduced this bill (which I hear is full of other bull crap) knowing that Bush would have to veto it, despite the good things in it, and make the dem's appear like the vets friend in an election year.
Again, it's a sad commentary on our state of affairs politically when war vets are treated like a political football.

And no, I don't feel like anyone in the Republican Party gives a damn about us. I can tell you stories of bills that were proposed by the "military loving" conservatives that were killed before they could get any momentum.

Oh and by the way, the Republicans are still backing a measure that would keep military retirees from touching their retirement pay until they turn 61.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

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Again, it's a sad commentary on our state of affairs politically when war vets are treated like a political football.
Now that is something I can agree with. Vets deserve better imo.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

I guess the day will come where we can not blame every damn problem in this country on George W. Bush! Geesh. My grandmother was walking through the house and stubed her toe on the coffee table and instead of the normal SOB comment it was damn that GW Bush! LOL (made the last part up)

Btw, GOD Bless the Troops.
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

Doesn't matter what party the person is from, they want to use "would-be" voters during an election year and it's sad. And it's worse when they have to use the men and women who serve this country.

Why can't the people in DC make it simple? No additional addendums, just one bill - plan and simple, have it deal with one subject, "THE VETERANS!"
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Vets say they feel misled about GI benefits

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Originally Posted by augustashark View Post
I guess the day will come where we can not blame every damn problem in this country on George W. Bush! Geesh. My grandmother was walking through the house and stubed her toe on the coffee table and instead of the normal SOB comment it was damn that GW Bush! LOL (made the last part up)

Btw, GOD Bless the Troops.


I don't blame everything on him. I blame the problems he created on him.



Have a great day.
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