Student Veterans of America | July 20, 2017
As the #ForeverGIBill continues to gain traction and move forward through Congress, we have been receiving questions and wanted to take the opportunity to bring some clarity about the bill. Below are our answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Does taking away the 15 year limit apply to all veterans?
The termination of the 15 year delimiting date applies to those who were discharged on or after Jan 1, 2013. While we wish this provision in the current legislation would apply to all veterans, the cost was beyond the reach of current resources. Our commitment to ensuring future generations have the best benefit possible includes removing this cap for those individuals.
Chapter Leadership Academy to Promote Collaboration and Shared Planning
Student Veterans of America | July 17, 2017
Written By: Mr. Eric Gage, Director of Programs
Over the past two years I have enjoyed teaching the best and brightest student veteran leaders in developing their student veteran organization thorough our Leadership Summit Series. Today, I'm more excited about what we're going to do next. Traditionally, the Leadership Summit Series was offered in-person in regional locations across the country. But, in an effort to empower a larger number of student veterans, I am very excited to continue teaching this curriculum – and more – through Student Veteran of America's Chapter Leadership Academy.
With the end of the school year approaching, many student veteran leaders struggle with building their chapter's plan for the following school year. Some chapter leaders and officers are new to their positions, and may not know exactly what they have volunteered for. Even experienced chapter leaders know the intense level of involvement necessary for proper chapter planning. As veterans, we know the key to success is training and planning. I have always enjoyed seeing the fire lit within student veterans who want to develop a student veteran organization that will leave their campus better than they found it. We're going to do that with the Chapter Leadership Academy.
How Will Congress Pay for #ForeverGIBill?
Student Veterans of America | July 17, 2017
Written By: Mr. Will Hubbard, Vice President of Government Affairs
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.
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 Stegall, Navy Veteran and Former SVA Chapter Leader
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
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.
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