Time and time again we see the evidence that the Bush Administration does not support the troops. Here’s the latest:
The Bush administration opposes a Democratic effort to restore full educational benefits for returning veterans, according to an official’s comments last week.
Senate Democrats, led by Virginia’s Jim Webb, want the government to pay every penny of veterans’ educational costs, from tuition at a public university to books, housing and a monthly stipend.
Such a benefit was a major feature of the historic 1944 G.I. Bill, which put more than eight million U.S. soldiers through college and is now credited by historians as fueling the expansion of America’s middle class in the post-war era.
But in recent years the benefit has dwindled; under the current law, passed in 1985, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan can expect Uncle Sam to cover only 75 percent of their tuition costs. That’s not enough, say Democrats and veterans’ advocates.
Webb’s bill currently “has 19 Democratic co-sponsors, including Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and John Kerry, D-Mass., a fellow veteran.”
Patrick Campbell of the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) endorsed Webb’s plan. Better educational benefits are essential for attracting talented, ambitious recruits, he asserted.
“If the Department of Defense said, ‘If you serve your country, we’ll pay for school no questions asked,’ …[that] would increase the quality of our recruits,” said Campbell, “instead of what we’re doing now, which is lowering our standards.”
If the Bush Administration and the GOP really wants to show support for the troops they would jump on this legislation and make it happen.
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