“With the signing of this bill a well-rounded program of special veterans’ benefits is nearly completed. It gives emphatic notice to the men and women in our armed forces that the American people do not intend to let them down” - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the GI Bill into law on June 22, 1944. This bill, originally known as The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (P.L. 78-346, 58 Stat. 284m), “provided returning World War II veterans with funds for medical care, unemployment insurance, higher education, and housing.” As a result, almost 6 million veterans either went to college, received job training or received more than $33 billion in home loans.
The original GI Bill has been renewed several times. But in 1984, former Mississippi Congressman Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery, himself a Major General (Ret.) of the Miss. National Guard and a World War II veteran, revamped the GI Bill. In his honor, the GI Bill has since been known as the "Montgomery GI Bill"
(MGIB). The bill was then “assuring that the legacy of the original GI Bill lives on, as VA home loan guaranty and education programs continue to work for our newest generation of combat Veterans.”
A survey recently conducted among veterans provides a representative sample of those who used their GI Bill over a period from 1950 to 1978:
• Austin, Texas: Army (SP5), BSEE, The University of Texas.
• Austin, Texas: Marine Corps (Sgt.), BAFA (Graphic and Commercial Art), The University of Texas.
• Austin, Texas: Army (SPC), BBA (Public Accounting), Public Law 550,
Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1952, (for veterans of the Korean War), City College of New York
• Ozark, Ala: Army (LTC, Ret.), B.S. in Business Management, Hampton University and an M.S. in Contract and Procurement Management, Florida Institute of Technology
• Richmond, Ky: Army (1LT), M.S. in Police Administration, Eastern Kentucky University.
• Santa Maria, Calif: Air Force (CPT, Ret.), Civilian Pilot's License.
• Sioux Falls, S.D.: Army (SGT), B.A. in Government, University of South Dakota.
• St. Petersburg, Fla: Army (CPT), BSEE, The University of South Florida.
An example of the current monetary funds available to veterans attending school is shown in the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) Payment Rates For 2013 Academic Year (August 1, 2013 - July 31, 2014).
The latest update in the MGIB was in 2011 when President Obama signed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law. Previously, the MGIB allowed veterans only ten years to completely use their benefits. However, this new act allows veterans 35 -60 years old to have access to new funds if they are unemployed and not currently enrolled (or within the past 6 months) in a state or federal job training program,.
The main website for VA educational finances available from the MGIB provides all of the up-to-date information including education and training; home loans; life insurance and other services. The education section includes college, business , technical or vocational courses; as well as distance learning which includes correspondence courses. There is also a License and Certification Program available to upgrade veterans capability for advancement in their current job or to find new employment. It should be noted that active duty military personnel are able to participate in various educational courses including flight courses.
And, Texas veterans, if they don't already know, have additional educational funds available to them via the Hazlewood Act after their MGIB benefits have been completely used. For example, this asset enables Texas veterans to pursue their masters and doctorate degrees after they receive their bachelors degree via the MGIB.
This information update will enable all veterans to have access to the educational resources available to them as a result of their service to our country.
Note: For those who don't know, G.I., the term commonly used for members of our military, stands for “Government Issue”, “General Issue” and originally for “galvanized iron”.