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How Will Congress Pay for #ForeverGIBill?
Student Veterans of America | July 17, 2017

Written By: Mr. Will Hubbard, Vice President of Government Affairs

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In receiving several questions regarding the pay-for covering HR 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the #ForeverGIBill, we'd like to take the opportunity to provide some insight.

In the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Congress exempted VA from the changes to BAH. The rate was rising so quickly, that it would experience unsustainable growth over time. To manage these costs, the legislation slowed the growth rate for DoD, but not VA, creating a disparity between the active duty housing allowance and veterans housing allowance.

This legislation would bring the DoD and VA rates into alignment, also creating a slowed growth-rate for VA to mirror the current DoD rates. Importantly, this new rate was not a cut to individuals; it is simply not increasing as much as it had been. Month-to-month nobody would see less money in their housing allowance. For example, if you were receiving 1,200 for BAH one month, you would not see that amount go down to say 1,100—it would continue to rise, just not as rapidly.

Where Experience Meets Opportunity Story

Student Veterans of America | June 28, 2017

Written By: Blair Hite, Amazon Workforce Staffing Marketing Specialist, and Barrett Bogue, Student Veterans of America's Vice President of PR and Chapter Engagement


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Albert was born and raised in Texas. Despite not having strong mentors growing up, he joined the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and went to the finals in Pensacola, FL with the armed drill team before graduating high school. Two days after graduation, Albert enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After finishing his basic and combat training, Albert went to Basic Warehousing School in Camp Lejeune, NC. While there, he developed a strong work ethic and learned leadership principles that helped him advance his military career. Albert's proudest achievement was completing five months of combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where he also managed an expeditionary warehouse for a Marine Corps unit of one-hundred Marines.

How Student Veterans of America and the GI Bill Set Me Up for Success
Student Veterans of America | June 28, 2017

Written By: Ms. Fontaine Wilson, Navy Veteran and Former SVA Chapter Leader

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I am a Post-9/11 veteran. I served six years in the United States Navy as a Nuclear Machinist Mate onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). I was able to travel the world while completing 2 deployments to the Persian Gulf. While traveling has always been my passion, the real reason I joined the Navy was the opportunity to earn a college education without the debt. It would not have been possible without the Post 9/11 GI Bill and a supportive community backing me along the way.

Who #ForeverGIBill Impacts
Student Veterans of America | June 27, 2017
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Student Veterans of America is seeking a Forever GI Bill for all future generations of veterans. Service members don't decide when they get sent to war, so war shouldn't decide if veterans can go to school, which is why we believe that it's critical to end the expiration date on a benefit veterans earned, and not tie it to a conflict status. We need to improve and expand the benefit for veterans and survivors who earned the GI Bill but are being left out. SVA, with the support of partners like Got Your 6, the American Legion, TAPS, VFW, and many more seek to:

• Extend the Yellow Ribbon Program to recipients of the Fry Scholarship.

 

• Award Purple Heart recipients GI Bill eligibility regardless of active duty time served.

 

• Ensure National Guard and Reserve Members get the same benefits as those they served on active duty with.

 

• Restore benefits lost at schools that closed.

 

• Provide additional time to use the GI Bill to empowering students pursuing STEM degrees.

 

• End the arbitrary 15-year time limit to use the GI Bill, making it a lifetime benefit to be used at any age.

 

These small changes can make a huge impact. The below individuals share in their own words details of their service, and how they have been impacted by their limited access to the GI Bill in its current form.

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It was an honor to deploy to Fallujah in 2006 and take part in the mission, which I still believe in after all these years. Coming home and continuing my education was; however, not what I expected. My active duty days were counted as points towards education, regardless of the days I was shot at, and had bombs explode underneath me.  And given my Purple Heart, the obsession with days accrued versus deeds done, and blood spilled, is truthfully criminal.

Jonathan Richard Goldman
Marine Reservist, Purple Heart Recipient 

11 Student Veteran Dads You’ll Want to Hear from this Father’s Day!
Student Veterans of America | June 16, 2017

This Sunday, we celebrate dads across the country, and at SVA, we particularly celebrate those student veterans who are juggling college, being a dad, while often working a part or full-time job. What we know from our research is that almost half of student veterans are parents while in school and more than 16% of those are single parents. This weekend, as we celebrate student veteran dads, we want to showcase these eleven dads who are past or present student veterans. Here they share with you, their advice for their fellow student veteran dads.

 

Fredy Esquivel

Marine Corps Veteran •  Recently earned his BA, Public Health at University of Washington,

Unknown-1His Advice: Ensure your children are part of the college experience. Taking my kids to football games and gymnastics meets have produced lasting memories. When I think about the late nights and early mornings sacrificed away from my family, it is always nice to know my children and I share the memories of attending fun events cheering on my fellow college students.

  

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