Friday, January 12, 2007

Veteran's G.I. Bill

Right now I wish Jim Webb was my Senator, but I'll settle for him being from my dad's home state. Finally, somebody with some sense and a real desire to help the veterans. When the G.I. Bill became a program that you had to contribute to in order to realize a benefit, it was no longer a way for the enlisted to get an education after discharge from the military.

When I joined, I received the grand total of $315 a month, with food, clothing and housing included. That is if you didn't mind eating mystery food (sometimes only identifiable by the sign below it), looking like a green pickle (different shades for different events!) or sleeping with forty other women in a large room that connected to three other matching bays by way of a community bathroom. That being said, there is still no way I would have been able to contribute a hundred dollars a month, hoping that by the time I got out, there would be enough to get a college education. It just isn't a realistic expectation for the average young person and history bears this out.

If you haven't been in the military it is very difficult to understand how different life is for a veteran, and that doesn't even have to be one that has been in a war zone. Life is different. I was a dependent, then active military and back to being a dependent before I became a civilian and I have to say, there are things that still don't make sense to me. Especially in the workplace.

A real GI Bill makes it possible to adjust back into society. It allows you to experience the feelings of progress and accomplishment in a somewhat structured environment because nothing else is organized in your life. Civilian life is so ...flexible, and that can be very frustrating to someone who has had a sustained period of order. Plus, now you have to pick what to wear every day.

Veterans deserve our support in this matter and everyone should encourage their Representatives in Congress (Boxer, Feinstein and someone I don't remember at the moment) to support Mr. Webb's bill and ensure that this measure passes. Quickly.

That Montgomery thing is a farce.


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