FAIRFAX, VA – U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) joined President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, VA Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth, current and former members of Congress and others at George Mason University this morning to celebrate the implementation of the historic Post-9/11 GI Bill. The bill was passed by Congress last year and went into effect on Saturday, August 1st. Chairman Akaka worked with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), last year to steer the measure through Congress and resolve initial technical and implementation concerns.
Chairman Akaka said: “The Post-9/11 GI Bill will make college education a reality for many of the brave young men and women who have served our nation. It also gives our servicemembers the ability to send their spouses and children to school.
“As I consider the impact of this new educational benefit on today’s servicemembers, I find myself reflecting on what the original GI Bill did for me as a young veteran. When I returned from World War II, the GI bill gave me the opportunity to build my life on the foundation of a quality education. It is one of the reasons I am a Senator today, and why I was proud to support this new GI Bill.” Senator Akaka attended the University of Hawaii on the original GI Bill following his service in World War II.
Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), a WWII Medal of Honor recipient who received degrees at the University of Hawaii and George Washington University on the original GI Bill, said: “The Post-9/11 GI Bill is necessary because America needs another shot in the arm to bolster the educational opportunities for our citizens. A new G.I. bill is necessary because much has changed since the initial G.I. Bill which was a great success. The G.I. Bill will go down in history as one of those that has a profound impact on quality of life and attitude in the United States. Today our military is made up of men and women who volunteer for service. These are times when it is not easy to recruit. The G.I. Bill will hopefully serve as a recruiting incentive.”
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides benefits based on active duty service. The maximum benefit allows servicemembers, veterans and family members to receive an in-state, undergraduate education in the state and school of their choice at no cost to themselves.
More information: http://www.gibill.va.gov/
- END -
August 3, 2009