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VFW HELPING VETERANS GET EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

Because advocating for the G.I. Bill was just the first step.

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In 2008, VFW led the charge to pass the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

Since then, VFW has advocated for several improvements to the bill to ensure that these educational benefits are dispensed in a fair, just manner. Many of these improvements have been made, including:

• Making all National Guard members eligible after active duty service
• Including vocational programs and apprenticeship training
• Extending living stipends to students enrolled in online programs
• Paying for entrance exams and multiple professional licenses
• Establishing a national maximum rate for private school students, ending state-by-state caps

Every day, VFW is working, boots on the ground, to help veterans receive the education to which they are entitled.

For example …

A few years ago, Tina Simon* enlisted in the National Guard. She was ready and willing to serve her country, but things didn’t go as planned. She was seriously injured during training and medically discharged after 11 months of service.

Ready to turn over a new leaf, Simon began taking college classes last fall. She thought she’d receive educational benefits under the new G.I. Bill, but she was denied. The VA claimed that she lacked sufficient time in the service. Out of options, Simon turned to VFW National Legislative Service Deputy Director Ryan Gallucci.

Gallucci worked with Gerald Manar, Deputy Director, VFW National Veterans Service. Manar noted that a veteran, discharged because of a service-connected disability, need only serve 30 days on active duty in order to qualify for benefits under the G.I. Bill.

Manar called the VA Regional Office where the veteran's education claim was filed. Almost immediately, the error was corrected, and Simon was granted benefits for tuition, housing and books.

"She answered her country's call to stand up and fight, and that's what counts," said Gallucci. "Though she couldn't finish her training, she was hurt in the line of duty, and as a result, she's entitled to her education benefits. I'm proud to say that VFW helped right this wrong."

If you or someone you know needs help getting their G.I. Bill benefits, please contact a VFW Service Officer. You don’t have to be a member to take advantage of this service. Find a service officer near you.

    *Name has been changed to protect privacy.

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