Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Guest Post by Free0352


I saw this today. Obama is trying to frame the coming vote on the new GI Bill as McCain and Republicans not supporting veterans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The question is “how” to expand the GI Bill, not “should we expand it”?

This all stems from Democratic Senator Jim Webb’s bill (GI Bill SS22). There is currently a great debate in military circles about the pro’s and cons of each program with junior soldiers supporting one, and career soldiers supporting the other.

In reality, both are good Bills that will nicely compensate a lot of troops.

The Democrat Bill has many pros, but doesn’t have some of the more attractive features of the Republican Bill and appears to create a whole new GI Bill bureaucracy. The Republican Bill doesn’t offer as much money to one-term members, but has key features in it that make it hugely attractive to career military members.

I am supporting John McCain’s bill for several reasons, but mainly because it provides a sliding scale where the longer you serve, the more benefits you get. If you serve a lot of years you end up with more benefits that with SS22. Most attractive of all- the Republican bill allows a member to “give” their GI Bill benefits to a family member. I think that will enhance retention in the service for troops by allowing the option to give the Bill to their children or spouse.

Its not that I’d like to see one term troops get screwed... but I think I should get more for 10 years of service than the guy who served three. I don’t want to get into a military class war here. Were I still a private I’d be contemplating a “Fuck you Sergeant” to be honest. Bottom line as far as I’m concerned is this- I’ve “put in” more so I should get more.

This issue is of course near and dear to my heart, having gone to school myself on the GI Bill. I’m now done with it. I won’t need it again, and McCain and Lindsey Graham’s bill has a provision for guys like me. After a period of years (of which I already qualify as I’ve served 10 now) I can pay into the GI Bill and “give it” to my daughter. Obviously this for my situation is highly advantageous. In fact, I can see myself supporting SS22 if it had this feature, as it’s the one most attractive to me.

In the end this situation is good for veterans because if either passes, it will be good for service members. But don’t let anyone tell you McCain doesn’t support veterans. He’s cosponsoring the Bill this vet would like to see passed.

-by free0352

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