Monday, August 3, 2009

Obama and Webb Come to GMU Today to Discuss Post 9/11 GI Bill

The first time I ever heard Barack Obama speak in person was when we he was still considering whether or not he would run for president and he made a stop at my alma mater -- George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Even though I was an Edwards supporter at the time, I was one of thousands of people who showed up to the event to hear him speak and walked away thinking Obama could do a lot of good for our country.

President Obama will be returning to GMU today with another man who has served his country honorably -- Sen. Jim Webb -- in recognition of of the post-9/11 GI Bill which Webb fought hard for in Congress as one of his top priorities. The bill allows veterans who have served after 9/11 to be eligible for full tuition reimbursement at a public university and a monthly stipend for books and housing of $1,000.

I think GMU is a prime location for this event because there are so many students who graduate from the University and then go into public service in one form or another. With the post-9/11 GI Bill, GMU will now be a prime location for retired veterans to receive a higher education and obtain the skills necessary for them to continue very productive careers after the military.

UPDATE: Creigh Deeds put out the following statement this morning.
BEDFORD – Sen. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for governor, released the following statement today upon implementation of the new GI Bill, which provides expanded higher education access and benefits to veterans who served after 9/11. Senator Jim Webb and former Senator John Warner joined President Obama and Vice President Biden at George Mason University to celebrate the release of funds to the new veterans program.

“As I visit with Virginia’s veterans today at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, I’m excited that the next generation of veterans will gain access to higher education benefits with implementation of this new GI Bill. Virginia is home to one of the largest military populations in the country, and I’m proud that their service and sacrifice will be honored and rewarded today.

“I congratulate Senator Jim Webb, chairman of Veterans for Deeds, who introduced the bill in Congress and worked across the aisle with Senator John Warner to produce this historic legislation. The new GI Bill gives many Virginia veterans and their families much needed higher education assistance, including full tuition and fees, money for books and a monthly housing stipend.

“As we celebrate today’s achievement, I will continue to work with Republicans and Independents on behalf of Virginia’s active military personnel and honored veterans to improve the services we provide.”

As Governor, Sen. Deeds will:
• Support Virginia's Wounded Warrior program
• Build a World Class Support Network for Veterans Treatment
• Help Veterans Afford College
• Eliminate Red Tape and Accelerate the Benefits Claims Process
• Expand Job Opportunities for Virginia's Veterans
• Assist the Families of Deployed Guardsmen and Reservists
• Provide Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans
• Ease Transitions for Families Affected by Military Transfers

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