VFW Washington Weekly – April 4, 2008

1. New GI Bill Needs Our Help
2. House VA Committee Hearings
3. Women Veterans' Bill

4. VA Home Loan Fix
5. VA Names Acting Benefits Chief
6. Soldier Missing in Iraq Identified

1. New GI Bill Needs Our Help: Now is the time to push for a GI Bill for the 21st Century, one that will cover all education costs, to include tuition, fees, books and a subsistence stipend. Two bills introduced last year would provide these benefits: S. 22 and HR 2702, "The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007." Yet only half the Senate and a quarter of the House have signed on as co-sponsors. Please call or visit your Congressional offices at home or on Capitol Hill and urge your legislators to sponsor this VFW priority goal. Both bills would:

• Increase education benefits for members of the military serving on active duty since September 11, 2001. Qualifying veterans must have served at least two years on active duty. Members of the Reserve and National Guard need a total of two years of active duty service.
• Provide a powerful transition assistance program by allowing veterans to readjust to civilian life and improve their ability to care for themselves and their families. The subsistence stipend will also help ease a tough decision new veterans with families have to make: school or food and rent.
• Create additional tax revenue generated by better-educated veterans, which will likely pay for the program, as it did with the WWII GI Bill.
• Increase military recruitment efforts, broadening the socio-economic makeup of the military, and strengthening our national security.
A new GI Bill for the 21st century is the right thing to do for those who are now serving in harm's way. To view our Alert and contact your elected officials, go to:

 http://capwiz.com/vfw/issues/alert/?alertid=11232976 

To read a joint opinion editorial by VFW National Commander George Lisicki, and Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, go to: http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=news.newsDtl&did=4526.

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