The GI Bill Gap

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Dang, it sure is expensive to go to college today. Sure, soaring tuition affects college-bound kids (and their parents!) around the country, and it's such a big deal that lawmakers are trying to do something about it. But do you know who else is affected — significantly so? Men and women who signed up to join the military, hoping to benefit from the GI Bill at the end of their service. The GI Bill still exists, but these days it doesn't cover more than about 60 or 70 percent of costs at a state school, which leaves veterans with a serious gap to cover. Did you sign on the dotted line and don a military uniform, hoping to end up, eventually, debt free with a bachelor's degree? Is it still possible for you? What are you doing to make up the difference?

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I am a former member of the Army National Guard and put my life and college career on hold twice for the army and it barely scratched the surface of my college bills. Overall I set aside two and a half years of my life and received a small monthly supplement to the check I had because I had to have a job also.

Sent by Rick | 2:13 PM | 11-20-2007

I am a veteran of 9 years. I served in the U.S. Navy. I am now trying to get an Electrical Engineering degree. During my time in the Navy I got married and have three children.

I still have to work and accept all possible financial aid available to support my family while trying to go to school.

POINT 1 - To keep the G.I. Bill paying out I must be enrolled during all semesters including summer, this gives me 36 months to finish my degree, three years for an engineering degree while working and trying to make time for my family is all but impossible.

POINT 2 - This seems almost like a deliberate military retention incentive not an aid for those who have served to transition out.

Sent by Brian Wallace | 2:17 PM | 11-20-2007

The military paid for my medical school training. $3200/yr tuition $6000/yr stipend x 3 years. I pay over $150,000 per year in Federal income taxes. I think that was a pretty good investment by the government.

Sent by Aaron Kirkemo | 2:20 PM | 11-20-2007

The GI bill serves to increase the economic divide between men and women because more veterans are men. It is to the benefit of the nation that a free college education is available to everybody.

Sent by Leigh | 2:23 PM | 11-20-2007

All veterans need to contact our respective Senators and Congresspersons to get the GI Bill For Life Act passed. The bill is sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington state. The bill will eliminate the 10 year requirement, thus removing the pressure current veterans have to finish their education within a confined time period. Most veterans leaving the service have families and jobs and don't always have the time or money to attend college when they initially separate from the service. Thank you.

Sent by Kenneth Davis, Sr. | 2:24 PM | 11-20-2007

I am a National Guard soldier and served in Iraq in 2005. I plan on using my GI Bill benefits this spring. I am scheduled to retire in 3 years and just found out that my benefits will run out before I have had a chance to finish a degree. It is unfortunate that this is not the open-ended GI Bill of WWII that benefited the nation so much.

As to covering costs, I know that I must continue to work full-time, so I can only attend school part-time.

Sent by Dean - Idaho | 2:25 PM | 11-20-2007

What is also not considered is that the VA counts each month of enrollment rather than the amount paid to recipients. My GI Bill is for 36 months. When a semester ends or begins mid-month, I am only paid for those weeks, rather than the entire time - and this counts as a whole month of received benefits.

Sent by Dan | 2:25 PM | 11-20-2007

Some soldiers make a mistake, get punished and then are discharged with a General Discharge under Honorable Conditions. So, they do not qualify for the GI Bill. Also, they lose the $100/month x 36+ months they have paid in. Only those with an Honorable Discharge get the GI Bill. Please include this in the campaign to improve the GI Bill.

Sent by Ivan | 2:30 PM | 11-20-2007

I don't know how the last caller disenrolled herself from the GI bill. Enrollment is automatic, you have to turn it down specifically.

That she may have done this accidentally in the frenzy of the indoc isn't hard to imagine but I doubt it's a very common occurrence.

Sent by Brian | 2:30 PM | 11-20-2007

My husband, a Vietnam-era veteran, earned both his bachelor's and master's degree with GI bill assistance. I say "assistance" because the benefit (even in the 1970's) didn't cover all his tuition, books, and living expenses. And we didn't expect it to. He worked the entire time he was going to school, got good grades, and then accepted a commission as an Air Force Officer. The myth that the GI bill historically covered all a veteran's college expenses needs to be busted! Maybe it was that way in the 1950's, but it hasn't been for a long time. My opinion: anyone who really wants a college education, will gratefully accept the GI bill and then do what's necessary to make up the difference.

Sent by Jo Anne Keeffer | 2:31 PM | 11-20-2007

What % of veterans actually use the GI Bill? And then do most veterans use 100% of the GI Bill available to them? What is the actual cost of the GI Bill - if 'x' military personnel pay $1800 into the GI Bill and only 'x%' go to college and use the GI Bill - what is the tru cost of the GI Bill

Sent by Ben | 2:32 PM | 11-20-2007

I "bought" the Gi bill while in the Navy in the 80's It was a fair deal $1,200 for $12,000 when i got out. It paid for one year of school and i'm gratefull for it. I believe the state of MA. allows any vet to goto a state school for free. If all states would just offer free in state tuition, i think that would be fair. Every state has at least on good school. Here in Michigan we have about 16 excellent state schools. What is stopping this from happeing?

Sent by Michael Moran | 2:32 PM | 11-20-2007

The GI Bill is only as good as the mental health service/benefits the Veterans Administration is willing to provide. Usually this falls pathetically short for veterans. The Hallmark injuries of the present occupation in Iraq are TBI and PTSD. Without addressing these needs how can we expect our soldiers to jump into school? Many of them have a myriad of cognitive and emotional issues they need assistance with; this may be another leg of this conversation but as a clinical social worker soon to graduate I felt compelled to raise this issue.

Sent by Josey Baker | 2:34 PM | 11-20-2007

I am an Air Force vet and currently a kinder teacher of 3 years. I have obtained a Bachelors degree with help from my GI Bill, and am currently seeking my Masters with what is left from my GI Bill. However, I have accrued some debt from education loans throughout my academic career, and am wondering what could be done to provide loan forgiveness to those who were and are in public service.

Sent by Michael Blassingame | 2:35 PM | 11-20-2007

There is a big difference between where the country was at when the WWII GI Bill was passed and now. With a volunteer army with much fewer soldiers than during WWII, we aren't going to get the benefits as a country that we got after WWII. After WWII 1 in 8 people were in the military and got the GI Bill. We don't have nearly that many people in the military now. We got the benefits of the GI Bill because such a large portion of our population was in the military. The point that most people seem to be missing about the lauded outcome (a major increase in future economic benefit for our country) that would be gained by increasing this benefit for current veterans is illusory. If we still had a draft army with as many troops that would be getting a free education, then it would make sense to increase funding. Why should a small minority of our population get the benefits the rest of us have to borrow in the form of student loans to get.

Sent by Simon | 2:35 PM | 11-20-2007

My husband served in the Air Force for 21 years. When he retired, he received no education benefits. He entered under the VEEP system and was not covered under the Montgomery Bill. Each year they talked about closing that gap but never did. Instead we took out student loans that we are now paying off. This problem didn't effect thousands but has had an impact on our family.

Sent by Shannon | 2:36 PM | 11-20-2007

I'm trying to call but can't get through! The VA is fighting me and won't give me my benefits!!! I was in the ANG and they took one year to finally make the decision to get me benefits. By then the benefits had expired!!! I'm a 14-year veteran and am so sick of dealing with the VA and feel no one is helping me!!! HELP HELP HELP

Sent by Jack A. Earl | 2:36 PM | 11-20-2007

I attended a Trade School on my GI bill after 4 years in the Navy. I had started a family while in the Navy and needed to attend school on a part time basis. I was an Electrician in the Navy and thought a Trade School would be perfect for me. I completed the Trade School and got a 2 year degree, but I had to finance over half of it myself. The monthly payment the GI will would give me on a part time basis was not sufficient to pay to entire cost of the school.

Sent by Chris Ferrell | 2:36 PM | 11-20-2007

While it appears that the current GI Bill is not as comprehensive as the previous one, the comments I am seeing here and the ones I am hearing on the radio show are a tad on the whining side. If you have a family when you decide to go to school, the family was a choice you already made and not one for which the government should pay. And, if I may respond to Mr. Kirkemo's comment above, if he pays $150,000 in taxes, his annual income must be amazing--it was a good investment for him, too. My father went to school under the GI Bill in the mid-1950's, and he held a job while in school, ate a great deal of macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, and shared a tiny apartment with a fellow student. Those are the breaks. Maybe these additional funds should be spent on disabled veterans, homeless veterans, and elderly veterans.

Sent by Susan Stefan | 2:38 PM | 11-20-2007

I am distressed by the notion that we believe that we are in a position as a country to undertake a burden as large as the one we undertook after World War II. The idea of subsidizing the educational aspirations of returning military personnel although nice, is way beyond our means. After eight years of fiscal irresponsibility by the current administration, and increasing pressure for the war on our limited national revenues leaves very little for health care, social security and other social programs. It is worth remembering that we were as a country in a different place now then we were in in 1944. Notably we had come out of a world wide depression, and our economy had moved from one dominated by agriculture to an increasingly mechanized/industrial economy. Europe and Asia had a need for our goods and services to rebuild their economies. That is not the case today. To imagine that we as a nation can afford to subsidize returning veterans to the tune of $45,000 or more a year is very distressing to me. I presently bear the burden of my own student loans ($65,000), and have no retirement fund that I can look to, and given the concerns about social security I suspect I may be one of those eating cat food after I retire.

Notwithstanding my concerns I believe that the nonprofit educational institutions should bear at least half the burden of educating our returning military personnel.

I hope this proposal is carefully scrutinized-before I am asked to pay for this.

Sent by Lily | 2:38 PM | 11-20-2007

I served in the Air Force from 1984-88 under the Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). VEAP was even worse than today's GI Bill. While the current GI Bill is an improvement, our veterans deserve better. An education is the least we can do for them.

Sent by James O'Connor | 2:39 PM | 11-20-2007

The GI bill changed my life. From a poor family, I spent four years in the Navy before going to college under the bill in 1955. It took me four years in the Navy to save $600. This along with the GI Bill got me through. I became, over the years, very successful in business with the ability to send to sons to college, one to Harvard for a graduate degree and the other to the Simon School for an MBA. My income abled me to give small amounts of money to a number of non profit organizations, offer my time to these groups and, most importantly, pay large amounts of income tax over many years. The GI bill investment in me was the best investment the government could have made, and I've made it a life commitment to return this good fortune to society whenever I could.

Sent by John Rasor | 2:43 PM | 11-20-2007

I retired from the Army on 2002 and went to college full time. I received about $1350.00 per month for three years on the GI bill. The $1350.00 the first month of the semester paid for the entire semester's tuition at a public state university. The rest, along with my military pension ($1400.00 per month) and my wife's moderate income (@ $30000.00 per year) helped support my family of four. This included supporting my daughter who was attending Auburn University out of state, approximately $20,000 per year. I graduated in May of 2005 with a BS in computer science, and an doing quite well. So, I really feel the GI bill is quite sufficient, as a matter of fact, I believe it now pays out considerably more than I was getting. As for so sniveling babies crying that the GI bill doesn't pay enough, they're never going to get anywhere in life by complaining they're not getting enough handouts.

Sent by Don Calabro | 2:44 PM | 11-20-2007

what kind of benefits do the mercenaries from blackwater get?

Sent by Tim | 2:45 PM | 11-20-2007

In the 1960's I married a high-school dropout who came from a very poor family. His only hope for a stable future for our family was military service. While in the service, he obtained a GED, and when he left the service, he started college under the GI bill. It changed our lives - and the lives of many others! I worked to supplement our income while he attended our community college (now Boise State University) and earned a degree in teaching. An excellent teacher,he was eonce designated "Teacher of the Year," and was assigned to work with gifted and exceptional children. The rewards to society for that GI bill benefit is enormous. He gave back to the community through the children he taught, and, of course, his ability to pay higher taxes. His family had no hope of ever helping him accomplish that - his military service and the GI Bill provided this opportunity. It turned a dropout with little or no hope for a future into a professional and contributing member of society. At one time there was a real possibility he would have burdened society via welfare, law enforcement problems, or social services. Instead, he became an outstanding citizen. We were divorced many years ago, but that does not change the impact the GI Bill had on both our lives, and that of our children. The GI Bill has my undying gratitude.

Sent by Karen Dye | 2:48 PM | 11-20-2007

I cannot believe the way we treat those that have served our country.Paying for their college tuition is the least we could do, and it is unbelievable that we charge them monthly for eligibility. I believe it was at the beginning of this conflict that congress denied these same soldiers a raise in pay. In a volunteer army what is the incentive to join if it doesn't pay for college or something? There isn't even a promise of medical care if they come back disabled. Stories of men coming home and labeled 5% disabled when they are missing limbs and plates in their heads! I don't believe the people in congress are listening to the public. I have never supported this war but we need to support these men whether we believe in the war or not.The U.S. is no longer a nation with compassion even for our own, only those with money.

Sent by M. Johnson | 2:50 PM | 11-20-2007

I used my GI Bill for college and attained 3 associates degrees from San Antonio College. It was a fantastic deal. Classes and books were less than $500 a month and the other months I received a check for $500 as long as I was enrolled. Thanks GI Bill!

Sent by Rodney Belaire | 2:51 PM | 11-20-2007

I am a Vietnam veteran who used part of his GI Bill to finish school in 1972. I only used part of the eligibility, leaving 13 months unused. Today, I am in need of retraining to be able to make any kind of income. I would love to have that 13 months available now to get into a nursing program.

I believe that the time limit on the eligibility of ten years needs to be rethought. With the loss of jobs and the shrinking middle class, many of the veterans will need new or advanced training further into their lives.

I encourage all the listeners in contacting their representative to increase the time of eligibility of the current and new GI Bill.

Sent by David Orrell | 2:52 PM | 11-20-2007

I am a disabled veteran, and father of three. My wife stays home with the children because she doesn't have enough experience to make enough money to counter the costs of child care. I'm going to school to obtain a mechanical engineering degree, which is at minimum a four year program. Of course many of us would like to have more of a benefit from the government, and it is only right since we've done so many things that our country asked of us.

It doesn't matter if you didn't vote for Bush, and didn't want this war. The majority of the country did at that time, and those of us who were serving answered that call. So now, instead of 1/8 people having their education funded by the other 7 people, 1/100 people can't have their education funded by 99/100 people who didn't serve?

Certainly limits must be set, and there's no way we can afford the benefits accorded those returning from WWII, but a program which at least provides assistance for the duration of your first degree can be funded.

We all pay money so that mothers who can't work can live on welfare, isn't better to pay a little for the people who risked their lives to keep you safe so that they can go to school and continue to be productive members of society?

Sent by Joel Wheeler, ex-Navy | 2:54 PM | 11-20-2007

One year ago, as a resident Connecticut, I was enjoying the FREE in-state that is provided to war veterans when enrolled at any community college or state run university. My GI Bill money was enough to cover my books. Thank God I lived at home. The new school I am attending is in California. I was forced to move here to enroll because the VA required I attend the main campus, not the 2 hours away in New York City. Thanks VA!!! Now I'm $30,000 in debt for just one year of school, and my benefits don't even cover my rent!

LETS GET SOME FRESH FACES IN CONGRESS TO FIX OUR CORRUPT GOVERNMENT AND MAKE IT WORK FOR THE PEOPLE AGAIN!

Sent by Marc DeSousa | 2:55 PM | 11-20-2007

We're not talking about people who retired from the military at all. The rest of us who serve a tour and get out to lead a real life don't get a monthly stipend. I'm 50% disabled, and they give me $900/mo, and that's only because I have kids. My GI Bill gives me $1100 a month (the rates just came up last month). Sure you got plenty, but you also gave 20 years at least. The rest of us shouldn't have to do that to get something as simple as an education. Now that you're retired, you don't even need an education to ensure that you will be taken care of for the rest of your life. As a disabled veteran who served honorably in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I get $2000/mo. That is nowhere near enough money to both live on and go to school with at today's tuition rates.

Sent by Joel Wheeler, ex-Navy | 3:00 PM | 11-20-2007

I am truly disturbed by the comments made by Simon 2:35 PM 11/20/2007. I'll tell you why a small minority of our population should get the benefits that everyone else has to borrow money for; because that small minority voluntarily put their lives on the line to ensure your freedom and quality of life. It???s unfortunate that people like you make up the majority. I myself served four active years in the Army, I deployed to Afghanistan for three months and Iraq twice for 9 and 3 months. I go to school full-time and receive the G.I. Bill. Unfortunately, I have to work part time, receive financial aid, and take out student loans in order to make ends meet because while I was in the Army I started a family and have a daughter to provide for. And yes, my wife works full time too. I feel really bad for veterans who come from states that don't offer tuition assistance like Illinois. Because I lived in Illinois before I joined and returned within six months after my ETS, I get full tuition paid for any community college or state school. College simply wouldn't be an option for me if it weren't for the Illinois Veteran Grant. In regards to Leigh 2:23 PM 11/20/2007, the G.I. Bill does not increase the economic divide between men and women, women are just as welcome to join the military and receive G.I. Bill benefits, it just so happens that less women choose to join than men.

Sent by Quentin | 3:01 PM | 11-20-2007

I worry about financial incentives to join the military. Too often you hear the double sided argument that "poor people can find ways to make it in this country." One of those ways to "make it" is to go to school. One of the few options to do that for the poor is to join the service. Many if not most join to get some kind of education. Then when they are forced into an unjust and unpopular war such as Iraq people want to chastise the soldiers for desertion when it becomes a threat of life and limb instead of a way to earn an education. There is no coincidence between the farce in Iraq and the 80% jump in desertion rate. (http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,156409,00.html?ESRC=topstories.RSS)
Dwight from Cleveland

Sent by Dwight | 3:06 PM | 11-20-2007

One more injustice this Thanksgiving:
"Wounded vets have to repay signing bonuses since they can't serve their full tour...because they were injured in combat"
http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/11/20/vets/index.html

Sent by alex | 6:51 PM | 11-20-2007

The GI Bill scam and fiasco is insulting to the small minority of citizens willing to contribute their blood in the nation???s defense. This nation by its conduct towards war veterans proves itself unworthy of their sacrifices. The everyday citizen seems more concerned about their morning Starbucks latte. How about tacking on a $2 war tax onto each latte so the elites who benefit from a secure nation can be reminded daily and contribute daily to make the GI Bill what it should be? Civilian control over the military is great but... At the same time however, history has pathetic, ironic, and sad way how often we repeat the same mistakes over and over regarding an undermanned military and underfunded veteran programs. Our ongoing 6 year conflict started with not enough troops sent in to do the job that needed to be done. And the result is the same...a war that costs more casualties because it goes on too long. Thanks to our civilian political leaders cutting our military manpower by 45% during the 1990s.

Yet after every war in our history we have cut the size of our armed forces after the war is over, setting our troops up to be fodder for whichever conflict "surprises" us next. While this is done mainly with the idea of saving money, it is the troops themselves that end up paying the price in lives lost and injuries gained because of civilian control over the size of the military. And because the war goes on much longer, it costs more anyway. So where is the cost savings?

While we've always had civilian control over the military in this country, it seems that historically civilians have not demonstrated very good responsibility in backing up the
troops. From the soldiers point of view, I can see why being sent into a war without sufficient manning, armor, and post conflict transition aid (which the GI Bill is supposed to be), is like being sabotaged by your own civilian political leaders.

And that's what the present day inadequate GI Bill is doing as icing on the cake. Sabotaging their transition to civilian life. No wonder 20% of the homeless population is composed of veterans.

If I was in the military, I would want to go on strike until the civilian politicians and the everyday citizen enjoying their daily latte decided to support the troops 110% not with just words but with action. Why would a soldier want to risk my life for anything less?

Maybe our military should form a union so they wouldn't have to be abused by this repeated incompetence and lack of foresight. They could refuse to go anywhere until their union leaders agree they are manned and armed sufficiently.

Sent by Bill | 7:06 PM | 11-20-2007

Having served as a draftee in Vietnam I am disenchanted at the educational benefits of today's vets. With a summer job and my GI benefits I was able to pay tuition and living expenses in the '70s. I did put a damper on social activities but can't believe that today's vets must shell out for college plus have withdrawals from their GI pay.

Sent by Steve Lauritzen, 3rd of 506, 101st Vietnam 1970 | 7:10 PM | 11-20-2007

I don't know what the changes were but, like another poster, I was a Vietnam era vet. I received $128 a month for school - which was still more than I made on active duty. I went to a public, state university to get a bachelors degree.

The money did not begin to cover my costs. I worked three part-time jobs while taking a full load... this was possible only because I found an "on-call" job where I got paid to sleep... all of 25 cents an hour... but I had no rent.

The GI bill took the edge off, but it certainly came far short of covering my costs.

Sent by bruce | 7:36 PM | 11-20-2007

I am a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy and I was amazed at the myriad excuses for reasons NOT to exercise GI bill benefits. I entered the Navy with an Associates Degree and have since earned a BA and I have one class remaining to earn my MBA. I did not expect Uncle Sam to pick up the bill for my college education in its entirety and other soldiers should not either. There was no guarantee for everyone to receive a college education because a soldier put $1200 towards the GI bill. The process requires sacrifice and that is how you accomplish goals; not someone handing you a degree because you defended the nation. I have earned all my degrees while active duty filling at sea and shore billets. I have zero sympathy for any soldier how claims education is out of reach. The 92% of soldiers that never use their GI bill benefits is because the soldiers THINK the process is too hard. Results, not excuses!

Sent by David Price | 9:50 PM | 11-20-2007

Get this. . .pay your own way

Sent by linda kutzer | 1:38 AM | 11-21-2007

Serving 4 years in the Air Force, i had a great experience with the G.I. bill. With respect to recent callers, i would say that in my case, the program was strongly encouraged in basic training. There may though, be differences in the various branches with regard to this. I obtained a degree in Nuclear Medicine and worked evenings at a local hospital. The residual money after college expenses actually paid for my rent!

Sent by Bryan Tatem | 9:48 AM | 11-21-2007

I'm a current active duty soldier and a former Army Reservist, heading back out into the college world again soon. As a reservist I used the GI Bill for one full-time semester. I had to wait a YEAR AND A HALF to get that money from the VA.

Now I'm entitled to a different GI Bill, a bigger one. And I'll use it. But I've already been warned by a VA benefits advisor at the school I'm going to that it will take about 3 months to get that money from the VA. It's not instant. In the information age, it still takes that long.

As for the GI Bill ot being enough to pay for everything, I think that's the point of slapping the Montgomery name on it. Just like Social Security, it's not supposed to pay for everything. It helps. That's all. If you're not willing to sacrifice by working to pay the difference, maybe you don't DESERVE the privilege. Or maybe you should join the national guard and use the Tuition Assistance (different from GI Bill) along with your GI Bill benefits.

Or maybe you should just have planned better for it financially.

GI Bill might have been intended back in it's infancy to pay for ALL of an education, but in today's military full of smarter soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, it's taken for granted by the folks at the top of our military and legislative food chains that we're smart enough to plan financially for such things as returning to college. Instead, look how many fail to set aside savings and prepare to enter the non-skilled labor force part-time in order to make that transition from serviceperson to student a success.

I've been over my budget with a fine-tooth comb, and between the national guard tuition assistance (federal program for all NG and reserve is $4500/year, just like active duty, and you don't even have to be MOS-qualified to start using TA in the Army reserve and NG), GI Bill, drill pay and savings from summer work, I'll be able to get by for four years and earn a bachelor's degree.

Sent by James Stevens | 1:49 PM | 11-23-2007

I am a financial advisor and upon hearing your story about the woeful inadequacy of GI Bill, my wheels started turning. If Congress wants to help veterans pay for college but wants the veterans themselves to shoulder some of the financial burden then why not copy and blend some of the pre-existing tax advantaged accounts already in use in the private sector? As in the 401(k) retirement accounts already used by many firms, the government could match the soldiers' contributions. (They could even match the contributions several times over if they chose.) As in a 529 or coverdell education plan, the money could grow tax deferred and be tax free when withdrawn for educational expenses. This plan would put veterans in a better position to educate themselves while also using their contributions and the growth potential of private investments to ease the financial burden on the government.

Sent by Ken Stewart | 2:42 PM | 11-24-2007

Solution guy here; U.S. Army veteran. It was difficult for me to support myself while collecting the GI Bill as a full-time student at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, California. In Oct 07, I received my Entrepreneur A.S. Degree.

The GI Bill quality of living was not the greatest. It literally was taking a step down in quality of life while trying to support yourself as a student. I decided to make a difference, and authored a statewide resolution. It was passed on Veterans Day, 11 Nov 2007. The California Veteran Network originated at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, California. We are a social club network on campus with ambitions to establish a statewide network of veterans to unite as one "voice." I recently purched domain to broadcast via internet television. If you would like to support our troops please contact me as soon as possible. Or go to MySpace; screename: hazardtek.

I have decided to become an advocate for education. To provide supplemental aid to veterans seeking a higher education. Veterans deserve the best. I am seeking corporate sponsors for veteran scholarships. Combat veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan should not have any expenses when returning to college. They have sacrifice everything to serve our country. Please support our veterans. They will never let you down.

My Entrepreneur A.S. degree arrived in October 2007. The degree has helped me to help to inspire other veterans to pursue a higher education.

other veterans with GI Bill issues. I am now enrolled as a television broadcast student. Next week is end of fall semester.

Last week, I learned of a female Navy veteran who was so discouraged about our college administrative process, that she mentally "wrote off" her entire GI Bill entitlements. She is an honor student and has been enrolled since Fall 2006. I squared her away by connecting her with the right people. Soon, she will receive a lump sum check of 15 months worth of back pay status.

I want to hear the "voice" of the veteran. I want to know their problems, and engineer solutions to educate our leaders of tomorrow. Veteran have a lot to offer society. In our hearts, we will always devote time for public service. That's what being a community is all about. To help others when you don't need help yourself; so, that if you ever need a helping hand, you would want a friendly neighbor to give you a lift.

Sent by John Salcedo | 2:17 AM | 12-5-2007

Can I use the GI Bill to guarantee the loan on my house? I never used it. I am a veteran of the Viet Nam era. Thanks.

Sent by Tish | 4:00 AM | 1-13-2008

I want to know why I am ineligible for Select Reserve GI Bill. I have served in the National Guard for two years and now I'm currently serving in the Coast Guard Reserve. The VA says I'm not eligible for the benefits because I haven't completed my A-school. However, I can still be deployed overseas and anywhere within the nation without being qualified in my rate. This is different than the Army which requires soldiers to be MOS qualified in order to be eligible to be deployed. Overall, the GI Bill continues not to help me in anyway. Another important topic that should be mentioned is the $4500 tuition assistance for reservists. This amount never increases compared to the cost of tuition that goes up every year. I have already sent letters to my congressmen and have talked to the VA for hours. So, I just don't know what to do.

Sent by Rodney | 1:58 PM | 4-10-2008

This is a letter of inquiry, not a condemnation of anything. Under the new G.I.BIll a person must serve a full three years in the military after 9/11.what happens to the unfortunate person who goes to Irq and has limbs blown off after only a week. Does that person qualify for educational benefits?

Sent by C. Price | 12:06 AM | 5-27-2008

I used the GI Bill after getting out of the Marines in 2002. It did not pay for my tuition, but it secured food and housing for me. I took out loans, and was granted both federal and state grants because of my low income and veteran status. All in all, I don't believe I would have been able to achieve the education I earned without the GI Bill's help, regardless of whether or not it should provide more. With proper planning and research into other sources of financial aid, a college education for a veteran or reservist is very much possible.

If people are coming close to their EAS, they should research states that offer free tuition to veterans and select whatever state they want as their official state residency on their outprocessing paperwork before being discharged. The Marines asked me prior to my discharge what state I wanted to put down as my home.

The new GI Bill will definitely make it easier for vets to go to college.

Sent by Brett Baney | 5:53 PM | 8-8-2008