Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Applauds Signing of New GI Bill

Summer 2008

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) applauds the signing into law of a new GI Bill that will give the heroes of today's conflicts the same educational benefits earned by the veterans of WWII.

Veterans who have served at least three years of active duty since Sept. 11, 2001, will be eligible for a full four-year college education. The benefit covers tuition at the most expensive in-state public university, along with a monthly housing stipend and $1,000 a year for books and supplies.

The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), was included in a larger spending package on war funding that was signed into law by President Bush on Monday, June 30, 2008.

National Commander Lawrence Schulman hailed the passage of the bill as "giving our veterans the benefits they have earned through their service in the Global War on Terrorism. Through this new GI Bill, our brave service people have tangible proof that the debt that all Americans owe to them for their service is starting to be repaid."

Now that this first step has been taken in showing the gratitude of a thankful nation for the service of those who are protecting us from the threat of terrorism, it is past time to work toward making greater gains in medical treatments for those who have returned from battle wounded both physically and mentally.

As National Commander Schulman recently said, "The VA hasn't been able to keep up with what's going on, especially with TBI (traumatic brain injury) and PTS (post-traumatic stress). We hear reports that 20 percent of the veterans are suffering from one of these problems."

TBI is generally caused by the detonation of roadside bombs in Iraq, he said. Even if body armor saves the soldier, Schulman said the impact is still equal to a concussion sustained by a football player.

"After several of those, it can turn into a serious problem," he said. "Many vets are losing arms and legs despite the body armor. These people will need assistance for the rest of their lives. This is something the government really hasn't planned for."

Now that our government has finally met the educational needs of those returning from battle, it is time to turn our full attention to meeting their physical and emotional needs.

 

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