Resolution commemorates 74th anniversary of landmark G.I. Bill, which served nearly 8 million veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing the week of June 18-22 as National G.I. Bill Commemoration Week. This week marks the 74th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the G.I. Bill, landmark legislation that provided educational assistance to service members, veterans and their families. A companion resolution was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
The G.I. Bill sent nearly 8 million returning WWII veterans to college and vocational schools. Veterans today are taking advantage of a similar benefit in the Post 9/11-G.I. Bill.
“The G.I. Bill changed the course of history. Millions of returning WWII veterans enrolled in higher education and job training programs and helped usher in an era of broad economic growth in the United States. The G.I. Bill changed my life, too,” said Senator Carper, a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves. “When I returned from Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War, I used the G.I. Bill to enroll at the University of Delaware and pursue a master’s degree. Today's veterans and their families have earned incredible G.I. Bill benefits through their sacrifice for our country. I'm proud to introduce a bipartisan resolution celebrating FDR signing the original G.I. Bill and renewing our commitment to making sure every veteran gets the most out of their hard-earned G.I. Bill benefits.”
“The G.I. Bill has been one of our country’s great successes, and I am pleased to honor its long history, from the original G.I. Bill of 1944 to the Forever G.I. Bill of today,” said Isakson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “The G.I. Bill doesn’t just honor and reward a veteran’s service—it builds on values and skills gained by each veteran through their service and provides a transformative opportunity for them to continue serving their community and their country through education. Our veterans are critical to the future leadership of our nation, and the investments we place in them during their service and through the G.I. Bill help ensure a strong future for our country.”
“Investing in a quality education for service members today will pay dividends well into the future,” said Senator Tester. “During G.I. Bill Week, we honor our veterans and recommit ourselves to ensure they can put their unique skillset and experience to use long after they hang up their uniforms.”
“The G.I. Bill represents only one of the many promises made by a grateful nation to assist our service members in their transition back into civilian life. It is a significant piece of legislation, one that has empowered generations – in every facet of the country – to succeed in the workforce and in their communities. As Senate co-chair of the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus and as a Marine, I was honored to collaborate with my colleagues to recognize the G.I. Bill’s history as a powerful tool that has served our nation’s service members, veterans and their families,” said Senator Sullivan.
“Since the original G.I. Bill was introduced in 1944, millions of veterans have used these benefits to improve their lives and build their futures. The American Legion helped draft the original 1944 Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (G.I. Bill of Rights) that fueled the Eisenhower-era post-war boom and the expansion of higher education and the middle class within American society. This is why The American Legion, many congressional leaders, and those who have benefitted from the G.I. Bill often refer to it as America’s ‘greatest legislation,’” said Denise Rohan, national commander of the American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime Veterans Service Organization (VSO). “The American Legion continues to work diligently to ensure the G.I. Bill remains relevant to today’s generation of veterans. We thank Senator Carper for his leadership in introducing legislation creating a National G.I. Bill Week.”
The full text of the resolution is available here.