Fighting in the war on terror is just the beginning for many American soldiers. The real battle can often begin when they return home, and find themselves lost. Psychiatric issues, lack of civilian training and job experience, and often no higher education can make it difficult for soldiers to return to a civilian life.
Fortunately, the Government instituted the VA GI Bill after World War Two, with the express goal of combating all these problems, and making it easy for military veterans to return to the non militarized world. The VA GI Bill does a lot to support American Veterans, but it also helps cushion the economic ‘after-war’ blow when thousands of veterans return home unable to find jobs.
But first, lets cover some of the great benefits provided by the VA GI Bill.
The GI Bill is designed to provide higher education to military veterans who have been honorably discharged. This can be redeemed at a huge number of higher education institutes, and can be used on practical or academic courses. While the exact benefits vary from state to state, most instances of the VA GI Bill (particularly in the post 9/11 GI Bill) cover all tuition fees, a housing allowance, and even provide a stipend for books and other smaller extra required items.
This sounds fairly basic, but from it’s simplicity comes a huge amount of benefit. To start with it makes it incredibly easy for military veterans to re-purpose their military training, or even choosing an entirely new direction for their civilian career. The ability to do this helps suppress many psychological issues for veterans returning from war, since it provides a great stepping stone from military to civilian life.
The benefit really doesn’t just stop at helping the veterans though. By ensuring all military veterans returning home from war can be retrained and educated, it helps reduce veteran unemployment, and boosts the overall US economy!
Although the VA GI Bill is widely supported, there are some opponents to the ‘complete’ support package offered for veteran education. The main concern is often down to the cost of educating these soldiers. While this is a valid concern, most economists agree that the value provided far outweighs the cost.