Who are these veterans? Student Veterans of America (SVA) have a few facts up on their website. They note that 47% have families, 85% are older than 25, and 27% are female. My DS (dear son) is in the first two statistics and he is one of thousands who receives post 9/11 GI bill benefits. Because the GI bill hotline was shut down, SVA and VFW stepped up and answered student veterans’ questions via email. The message for student vets was not good:
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed this week that living stipends and other benefit payments for nearly one million currently-enrolled student-veterans could be cut off if Congress fails to resolve the government shutdown by Nov. 1.
Wounded Warriers pledged 20 million dollars, or $500 each to about 40,000 veterans who would miss their Nov. 1 payment. With the shutdown ended, they are reallocating this money back to their programs.
When these young people joined the military, they faced getting beheaded and other atrocities in the middle east. To have certain Congressman vote to abruptly end the program they really need and value-a college education–and a financial stipend rug out from under them, mid-term, is deeply shameful to me. The Washington Post’s infographs “Faces of the Fallen” is a poignant reminder that 6,735 U.S. service members have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Army and Marines lost the most of America’s finest. God bless them all.
The GI Facebook page is back up, “We’re back!”