Concerning Updating and upgrading the Montgomery GI Bill for Today’s Returning Veterans Before the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Committee on Veterans’ Affairs United States House of Representatives
October 18, 2007
When my generation returned from Southeast Asia, the educational benefits for which we were eligible under the GI Bill paled in comparison to the very generous benefits our fathers and mothers received when they came home after achieving victory in World War II. That GI Bill, passed in 1944 with the guidance and support of World War I veterans, helped fuel the expansion of a real middle class in America, which led directly to an unprecedented era of economic growth and prosperity.
A WWII veteran who desired to attend a school of higher learning had all of his expenses paid – tuition (up to a certain ceiling), books, fees, room and board. And GIs flocked to the schools in droves.
Fast-forward twenty years. When the GI Bill for veterans returning from Vietnam was authorized, it was at the rate of $100 per month in toto for all expenses, the exact rate that the benefits for Korean veterans had stopped, a decade earlier. Clearly it was inadequate to assist many veterans to afford any school, much less a private college.