Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. The landmark legislation was also commonly called the GI Bill of Rights and today, after the passage of successive GI Bills following the Korean War, Vietnam and most recently, the post 9/11 version; is now known simply as the GI Bill. Administered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, these GI Bills represent critically important legislative successes for America's service members, veterans, survivors and their families.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 into law on June 22, 1944. The law required the Veterans Administration (VA) to carry out key provisions for education and training, loan guaranty for homes, farms and businesses, and unemployment pay.
In the last 70 years, successive iterations of the GI Bill have helped millions of service members, veterans, survivors, and their families buy new homes, pursue higher education and obtain professional certifications. Countless success stories of veterans who have used the GI Bill serve to highlight the power of this earned benefit. We don't readily attribute the success of Nobel Prize Laureates, famed actors, accomplished artists, movie producers and former US Presidents to the GI Bill; but perhaps we should -- individuals from all these areas are counted among its recipients.
The original purpose of the GI Bill remains central to the outcomes it continues to produce today -- readjustment to civilian life. According to the Bill's original advocate, the American Legion, prior to the GI Bill "nothing had ever been done to 'readjust' all those whose lives had been uprooted by war service." As we celebrate the 70th anniversary, we encourage every eligible service member, survivor, veteran and family member to make the most of this awesome opportunity to readjust and continue to advance their American Dream.
Read President Obama’s Military Times op-ed: http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140620/NEWS01/306200067/Obama-Post-9-11-GI-Bill-keeps-promise-newest-vets
History of the GI Bill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i29MmIADGpE&list=PLA93A5833057D78B7&index=69
Post 9/11 GI Bill Guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wwzie29m5Y&list=PLA93A5833057D78B7&index=71
Colonel Steve Parker, US Army, Executive Director of Joining Forces