You've earned the right to a higher education through your service in the U.S. Armed Forces. But how do you use your GI Bill benefits? Which version is right for you? The Legion can help answer questions about state and/or federal education benefits, who can use them, and how long.
Challenges old and new facing student veterans and their schools will be examined at a Veterans Education Roundtable on Aug. 25, during The American Legion's National Convention in Minneapolis.
Roundtable organizer Bob Madden of the Legion's Washington, D.C. headquarters says the purpose of the session is "to bring together educators, students and advocates to tackle some of the tough issues that face young men and women returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as they endeavor to build a life at home on a foundation of quality education."
The roundtable's panel will include Keith Wilson, director of Education Service for the Department of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Benefits Administration. Wilson has played a key role in implementing the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the law that makes education benefits available to today's young veterans.
Also among the scheduled panelists is Jennifer Matteson of the National Association of Veterans' Program Administrators. This nonprofit organization is devoted to promoting professional competency through an association of people involved in veterans education assistance programs, such as the GI Bill. Kimberly Wooster, president of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Student Veterans Association, will also sit on the panel.
It is expected that chief among the topics to be discussed by the panel will be the impact of new Post-9/11 GI Bill provisions - effective Oct. 1 - granting benefits to students of apprenticeship, on-the-job training, distance-learning and non-college programs.
The American Legion pioneered the concept of government-provided education benefits for military veterans. The first draft of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 - the first so-called GI Bill - was penned by American Legion Past National Commander, Harry Colmery. The Legion has been instrumental in that legislation's successors, including the current Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Students, educators and interested members of the public are invited to the Veterans Educational Roundtable, free of charge, in Minneapolis.
A downloadable 14" x 19" poster promoting the education roundtable, as well as similar sessions on employment, entrepreneurship and veterans' homelessness, is available online here.