Congress Passes Crucial Legislation Expanding the New GI Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 16, 2010

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Congress Passes Crucial Legislation Expanding the New GI Bill 

Upgrades Cover Benefits for National Guardsmen, Vocational Students

NEW YORK - Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country's first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, applauded Congress for passing the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act (S.3447).  This critical legislation will upgrade the Post-9/11 GI Bill by expanding benefits to new veterans studying at vocational schools, granting full GI Bill credit to National Guardsmen responding to national disasters and simplifying the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans enrolling at private schools.

“The Post-9/11 GI Bill was a historic commitment to this generation of veterans, but there were loopholes that left out tens of thousands of new vets.  For two years, IAVA has fought hard to close those loopholes, simplify the regulations and expand benefits. The upgrades passed today will finish the work we started by giving thousands of additional veterans key skills and on-the-job training to transition from combat to career,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff.  “With veteran unemployment above 10 percent, this bill provides necessary training and support for the surge of new veterans coming home in this difficult economy. We applaud Congress for its bipartisan leadership on this issue, and we urge the President to quickly sign the bill into law.”

For more information on upgrades to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, visit IAVA’s one-stop New GI Bill resource at www.NewGIBill.org.  On Tuesday, December 21st at 2:00pm EST IAVA will also host a "New GI Bill Winter Forum" to discuss the upgrades inside Community of Veterans, the first online network exclusively for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Registration is free and open to all confirmed veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

To arrange an interview with IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff, Deputy Executive Director Todd Bowers, or another IAVA Member Veteran, contact Isabel Black, 212-982-9699, isabel@iava.org.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the country's first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 200,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Its mission is to improve the lives of this country's newest generation of veterans and their families.