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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) spoke on the Senate floor to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill. Earlier this week, Senator Carper, along with Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, along with U.S. Representatives Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.), introduced a resolution to designate the week of June 17, 2019, as “National G.I. Bill Commemoration Week.” The G.I. Bill has provided veterans and their families education benefits, financial assistance, home loan guarantees and has led to the expansion of the American middle class and economic growth and opportunity in America.

 

The text of Senator Carper’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are available below:

“This Saturday, June 22nd marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Eleanor Roosevelt signing into law one of the most significant pieces of legislation in our nation’s history – the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944,” said Senator Carper. “You may know it better as the G.I. Bill.  Since 1944, the G.I. Bill helped millions of World War II veterans purchase a home, pay for higher education, or obtain job training and in turn, transformed our nation’s economy. For years to follow, the G.I. Bill continued shaping the lives of millions of veterans by spurring economic opportunity and helping to create the middle class as we know it. 

Senator Carper continued, “That’s why, earlier this week, I was proud to re-introduce a bipartisan resolution here in the Senate, alongside my colleagues Senators Johnny Isakson and John Tester, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, that designates this week as National G.I. Bill Commemoration Week, celebrates the historical significance of the G.I. Bill, and renews our commitment to improving the lives of our nation’s veterans for years to come.

“I wanted to share with you some reasons why the G.I. Bill is often referred to as the ‘Greatest Legislation’ and share with you how it changed my life. After World War II, millions of returning veterans flooded our nation’s colleges, universities, and vocational schools. It was the G.I. Bill that made financial support, education, and home loan programs available to those 16 million veterans returning home and helped usher in an era of unprecedented economic expansion.

“As I mentioned earlier, my own life was also changed because of the G.I. Bill.  After returning from three tours of duty in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, I was able to use my Vietnam-Era G.I. Bill benefits at the University of Delaware to pursue a master’s degree. Like many veterans, my career wouldn’t have been possible without the G.I. Bill. I am deeply grateful to the people of this country for investing in me and I always try hard to repay that investment they made in me all those years ago.

“Today’s veterans can take advantage of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill—an incredible benefit that pays the full cost of tuition at public colleges and universities, a generous housing allowance and book stipend and can even be transferred to the veteran’s spouse or children. And in 2017, I was proud when Congress enacted the ‘Forever G.I. Bill’ – legislation to expand the G.I. Bill and strengthen protections for our veterans, Purple Heart recipients, National Guard and Reservists, and surviving spouses and children.

“So today, I’m proud to join families across the country in celebrating the importance of the G.I. Bill over the past 75 years, which enabled hundreds of thousands of veterans – including me – to pursue our dreams and contribute to our economy. This week, we reaffirm our commitment to make sure every veteran today has a similar experience and gets the most out of their hard-earned G.I. bill benefits. Please join me in wishing the G.I. Bill a Happy 75th   Birthday. Here’s to another 75 years of improving the lives of our nation’s veterans.”

 

Video of Senator Carper’s full remarks are available here.