Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vets for Freedom Supports Revised GI Bill

May 14, 2008
Contact: Judy Mayka (202) 338-4070

(Washington DC) Vets for Freedom urges Senate members to work together to pass a GI Bill that not only addresses the immediate need for increased financial and educational benefits, but that also takes into account the unique dynamics of today’s all-volunteer force. The US military is working hard to increase its ranks in order to meet strategic needs across the globe; and as a result, it is imperative that recruitment and retention are both addressed as part of any GI Bill.

The Webb Bill correctly recognizes the rising costs of secondary education, and the importance of pegging yearly benefit increases to educational inflation indices, rather than the Consumer Price Index, which would require Congress to revisit the issue in a few years. The Webb Bill also allows for the accrual of Active Duty benefits for Reservists and National Guardsmen, many of which have seen repeated deployments.

On the other hand, the McCain-Graham Bill substantially increases monthly educational benefits and could be implemented immediately; while the Webb Bill would take over a year to implement and would require a new layer of Pentagon bureaucracy. The McCain-Graham Bill also rewards troops who remain in the military, providing strong incentives for our best and brightest to continue their service and support a growing force.

"Both the Webb and McCain-Graham bills have valuable aspects that address the needs of our military and our men and women in uniform." said Pete Hegseth, Executive Director of Vets for Freedom. "Vets for Freedom trusts that those involved will work toward a compromise to integrate the best aspects of both bills, and ensure its passage and implementation in a timely manner."

Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its mission is to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts by applying our first-hand knowledge to issues of American military strategy. For more information, please visit

Dear Vets for Freedom members:

I know you are as pleased as I am to see the continued progress being made in Iraq—most notably in Basra, where even the New York Times reported that "the city of Basra has been transformed by its own surge." After a slow start, Iraqi forces have taken control of the city away from Sadr’s militia and Iranian-backed militants. This is great news, even though many anti-war groups will never admit it. As always, we remain dedicated to spreading the "ground truth" about what is happening in Iraq. Check out our "Freedom Update" and "Troop Blog" to get regular updates.

And while we will always be committed to success in America’s fight against radical Islam around the globe, Vets for Freedom is gradually expanding its scope on issues that are important to members of our organization and all military personnel. This morning, we issued a statement in support of a revised GI Bill that both provides more educational benefits to veterans, but also addresses the retention needs of our all-volunteer force. We strongly feel that a compromise between competing GI Bills (Senator Webb’s Bill and Senators McCain and Graham’s Bill) will be of the most benefit to today’s veterans, active duty military members, reservists, and the future of our fighting force.

above is the statement we released today: