August 3rd, 2009
11:46 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama, veterans celebrate expansion of G.I. bill

FAIRFAX, Virginia (CNN) – President Barack Obama joined hundreds of young veterans marking the implementation of a new "G.I. Bill" on Monday, calling the expanded benefits package part of a "moral obligation to those who sacrificed greatly on our behalf."

The updated version of the famous World War II legislation significantly expand education benefits for men and women who served at least three years in the military after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

It provides as much as a full scholarship at in-state public universities for eligible veterans, service members, reservists, and National Guard members.

The first tuition checks authorized by the measure were mailed on August 1.

The new G.I. legislation, which was signed into law last year, was opposed by many Republicans worried it will deplete retention rates among those currently serving in the military at a time when recruitment efforts are struggling.

Obama, who backed the new benefits package as a senator, celebrated its implementation with a group of student veterans at George Mason University in northern Virginia.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Peter

    God bless the President of United States of America, he really cares about the issues which affects the society. We have moral obligation to help those brave men and women who have sacrificed greatly on behalf of United States. This president has shown time and time again that, he is ahead of the game when it comes to the issues which affects the common folks where ever they are!!!

    August 3, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. RRL

    Now if we could just give him credit for things he's actually done like doubling the deficit, in order to make his pledge of halving it in 10 years achievable, at the top of the list. Not much else there.

    August 3, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Retired Army in San Antonio

    CNN Story Says: The new G.I. legislation, which was signed into law last year, was opposed by many Republicans worried it will deplete retention rates among those currently serving in the military at a time when recruitment efforts are struggling.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Nah......the Repubs didn't opposed the bill because they were concerned about retaining troops (Recruitment AND Retention are up, BTW), they opposed the bill because it would benefit poor Whites and Minorities.

    One thing the Repubs DON'T want to see is poor folks becoming competitive as the seek to rise up into the ranks of the middle- and upper-class; and they know that them having access to higher education is the one thing that will make this rise, possible.

    August 3, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Terry from Texas

    George W. Bush was enrolled in the Air National Guard but did not really serve. Newt Gingrich did not serve. Dick Cheney did not serve. The Bush twins did not serve. (But let none of us forget that George Bush the elder served in WWII heroically and returned with a chest full of medals.)

    I must confess that I did not want to serve but was drafted. I spent two years at Ft. Benning and was not sent to Viet Nam. I don't consider myself a "real" veteran because no one ever shot at me.

    Those veterans who were shot at, especially those who were injured, deserve all we can give them. We sat on our fat butts and watched MTV while they served the cause of democracy – no matter what you think about the war.

    I propose a tax increase to support Veterans' Benefits. Veterans (who were shot at) would be exempt from the tax.

    August 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. nadine

    Obama only did it for the votes. He saw his ratings drop, and thought, hmmm how do i generate more votes...... So, he took someone else's idea and passed it.

    August 3, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. hecmar

    funny how people believe this was any of G.W's doing. this addition to the G.I bill was proposed by Jim Webb of Virgina. A Democrat. Get the facts.

    August 3, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    Why don't any of you BHO groupies posting here praise GWB for actually signing this bill into law? Are you a bunch of liars or what?

    August 3, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. nicodamus

    As a USMC combat veteran currently enrolled in school, I want to thank all the supporters of this bill..........................To John McCain and the republicans, "supporting" the troops means a lot more than just putting a magnet on car.

    August 3, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Rush Goebbels

    Where are all the rightwing paid Corporate Fascists that hate doing anthing other than having the vets fight wars and not giving them any benifits?

    August 3, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. xcusme

    Our vets give their lives for us. It is the least we as a country can do. And for the naysayers who complain about the taxes that may be raised my suggestion is you dont pay the taxes but send your child over to fight and keep you coins in your pocket.

    Our men & women are coming back in bad shape. They need mental & medical attention and many are homless and you complain about the taxes. I have no problem paying a little bit more. How selfish are you to complain about this bill. These guys give their life so you can make stupid comments. HOW DARE YOU.

    August 3, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Kim

    Why did the REPUBLICANS oppose this?

    August 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. gl, From Pittsburgh

    There the key word YOUNG! THIS young geneneration are fighter and will not take any mess from the Obstruction Republican party that don't want this country to more into the 21 century. Take your country back you young people from the nasty Party of No and Hate.

    August 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Kim

    Anything good he does the prior administration takes credit, anything bad he does the GOP blame him for (i.e. the recession).

    August 3, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Mario, mtl, ca.

    Well say and well done. The president really care, of those who fight for freedom

    August 3, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. George

    Another job well done. What do the Republicans like?? All I know is that NO seems to be their favorite word. Keep up the good work President Obama. The GNOP party can fester for eternity as far as I'm concerned. Anything that helps fellow Americans is against republican ideas. Greed versus need.

    August 3, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    I have seen enough outright lying coming from the right in these and other posts as to sicken even the most hardened. These posters aren't people who are being mislead. These are people who lie with absolutely no conscience whatsoever. How sad.

    Thank you, President Obama. Our troops deserve much more than flag waving and empty words.

    August 3, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Remember when Bush 43 and his administration AND John McCain wanted to REDUCE GI benefits? But then again, Bush wasn't really a veteran was he!

    August 3, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Excellent job!

    I just wish it was not linked to 911. Make the law follow the calender year like other similiar laws. If you served 01Jan01, you should get the benefits of this New GI Bill.

    Our military was fighting terrorism before 911 in case anyone wonders.

    August 3, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. gl, From Pittsburgh

    President Barack Obama joined hundreds of young veterans marking the implementation of a new "G.I. Bill" on Monday, calling the expanded benefits package part of a "moral obligation to those who sacrificed greatly on our behalf."

    Sara Palin alway want people to believe she is for the servicemen of this Country, but I bet she is not for the expanded benefits package part of a "moral obligation to those who sacrificed greatly on our behalf."

    August 3, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Dick/NH

    As a veteran from the 60's, I salute you, Mr. President !

    As a veteran from the 60's, to you, Senator McCain, I say that you are the "loser" once again ! We veterans will never forget that you're all mouth and no action...shame on you.

    August 3, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. JoeC

    The first right move this moron has made since he's been in office.

    August 3, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. john m

    ...And of course the party of NO and the self righeous evangelical republicans cant stand this either just like equal pay for equal work, Internet expansion, cash for clunkers, hot lunch, A clean environment Health insurance as a right not as a market privilege, and universal health for all Americans not just themselves. Are they stupid or what this is all so simple anything that helps what is left of the middle class is NO!

    August 3, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Fla.

    Misguided opposition was one of the reasons I started to lose respect for Sen. McCain last year when he sided with Pres. Bush and the rest of the Republican warmongers against this much-needed legislation.

    Fortunately, many thanks again to Sen. Webb, Pres. Obama & the rest of the supporters for passing the current GI Bill for our veterans.

    August 3, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Tom Everhardt

    Is Obama and his Black Muslim minions actually saying that George Bush did not cause 9-11? Have they given up the 9-11 republican insider conspiracy theories? Or is there some catch to granting some kind of rewards to our volunteer forces even if they are white?

    August 3, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Active Duty Democrat

    Awesome, and Repubs are idiots as usual. Why would this hurt retention? Its a powerful recruiting tool and the VERY REASON some end up enlisting. I cant wait to use mine...I hope everyone who enlists will take advantage of this...

    August 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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