Proving that good news travels fast, Congress recently sent President Trump legislation to sign that comprehensively modifies the current GI Bill and gives military veterans and their families a leg-up in what can often be a tough transition to civilian life. The legislation had wide bipartisan support.
The measure, known as the “Forever GI Bill” in advocacy circles, builds on opportunities already offered to veterans – it eliminates a 15-year deadline for veterans to use educational benefits, increases funds available for National Guard and Reserve members, military families and Purple Heart recipients, protects veteran students at for-profit schools, and provides incentives for veterans going into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) fields.
The education benefits could be used by those who begin using their GI benefits in 2018, and is the result of years of advocacy on behalf of veterans and military families by a strong coalition of veterans’ groups including Student Veterans of America, the American Legion and the VFW among others. It is meant to address challenges veterans and their families face when they transition to civilian job markets – something that many Goodwill® organizations know a lot about!
This expansion will allow Goodwill to provide even more opportunities for veterans and their families. Last year, Goodwill organizations served more than 60,000 veterans and more than 24,000 military families with career, skill-building, employer connections and family support, with a number of organizations directly connected with military bases across the country to better assist those who serve. This modernization of the GI bill will help to improve their ability to thrive – and turn the hope of a successful career beyond the military into a reality.
We appreciate the members of the House and Senate that supported this bill, and our friends who shepherded it through for passage. If the GI bill or another program has been useful in your or a family member’s life, please share your story at our action center now – it helps us to join together and keep America working.