GI Bill Changes: How Far Will They Go?

January 12, 2011 | Kate Horrell

With the recent signing of the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvement Act, there has been a tremendous amount of discussion about the changes to the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  The way these changes were designed, they took some benefits from some groups in order to extend more benefits to other groups.  Many Post 9/11 GI Bill beneficiaries are vocally upset about the way the changes are structured.

One of the things I love about the internet is the fact that all sorts of people can share their thoughts with other people who might be far away.  It allows diverse groups to bring their thoughts to the common internet table and we all can learn from each other.

On that note, here are my thoughts:

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is not perfect, but it is awfully darn good.  The benefits are tremendously generous to start, and the ability to transfer benefits to family members is nothing short of remarkable.  Yes, I know that those benefits have been earned, but they are still beyond anything that I could have ever imagined the Department of Defense offering.  I also think that they are not sustainable for the long term.  The cost of the current GI Bill is more than our country can afford, and as a result, I predict that the current GI bill will be modified yet again before too much time passes.  I know that there are others who have similar thoughts.

If you agree with the premise that the current GI Bill is unsustainable, then you have to wonder:  How can I use the benefits of the current, generous GI Bill to best benefit my family?  As I consider the ways in which the current GI bill might be modified in the future, I have lots of questions.  Will the Department of Defense honor the transferred benefits as promised?  The absolutely unprofessional and ridiculous handling of the MyCAA situation suggests that the Department of Defense has no problem changing the rules in the middle of the game.  If I can’t trust the DOD to hold up to their end of the bargain, is it even worth transferring benefits to children who might not be in college for 5, 10, even 15 years?

If you question the long-term viability of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then you might consider trying to use as many of your benefits as possible quickly.  Active Duty members can use their GI Bill benefits to obtain more education than can be paid for by tuition assistance, and benefits can be transferred to spouses (if you meet the eligibility criteria.)  Maybe this is the right time for your spouse or you to pursue that education you’ve thought about.

So, what do you think?  Do you think that the Department of Defense will honor the terms of the current Post 9/11 GI Bill in the future, or do you think that they are likely to make significant changes to the benefits before your family or you have an opportunity to use them?  How are you planning to work the GI Bill system to best benefit your family?  I’m so curious what you think!

Comments

  1. Kara says:

    I agree that the Post 9/11 GI Bill is extremely generous. My husband has already transferred his to our daughter. They could take out the BAH living allowance for her and I would still be happy with it. Just the fact that he can transfer the tuition paid to her is great.
    I never used MyCAA. I already had all the education I wanted by the time I had heard about it. I almost think that was a bit too generous. The GI Bill is a benefit that they would expect to be used. Why not just leave it at that. It can be transferred to spouses and/or children, that covers the spouses. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great program that many spouses have been able to take advantage of to go to school, but there are now 2 programs for spouses to use for school.
    I think they'll eventually do away with MyCAA because of the cost of it.

  2. Renee says:

    How do I find out eligibility of benefits for my husband? He served 8 years in the Army and got out in 1992. He was an E-4, promotable. Over the years we have obtained his DD-214 but need to dig further now. And with this new Post 9/11 GI bill, being able to transfer his education benefits to me. He has not need for the education benefits and I have already racked up enough education costs and would be much appreciative of some help!
    So can someone direct me of what website, what phone #, whatever it is, to get his eligibility??

    • Drew says:

      Post 9/11 GI bill is just that, you have to serve after 9/11 to be eligible. Have to serve 36 months after to be eligible for the full benefit

    • Brian harrington says:

      This for renane and all others the post 911 gi bill is intended for those

      Who were in the armed forces not the coast guard

      But to include service members while in boot camp

      On or before and after september11 2001

      And had not use any portion of there current gi bill

      They qual for the post 911 gi bill since your husband got out of the service

      In 1994 he dose not qual for the post 911 gi bill

      Now you don’t have to belive me but when you go to your local va

      And file your claim don’t be surprise they turn down your claim but he elected the Montgomery gi bill at a 100/ month then he can get that

      Now the catch is that he must have an honorable discharge

      • JillCoastie says:

        The United States Coast Guard is one of the Armed Forces! I am currently using the Post 9/11 bill and am a CG Reservist.

      • Sean Maloney says:

        Brain, I think you need to get your facts, grammar and spelling figured out first before you start giving advise. The Coast Guard is one of the five Armed Forces, her husband left the service in 1992 not 1994 and her name is Renee not renane?

        • Spelling? says:

          Speaking of which…“Advice” is the noun, “advise” the verb.

        • ChiefRock says:

          You sure have a lot of errors in your post to be so critical of the guy you're responding to.
          Take a chill, the guy gave poor advice and really can just be ignored. No need to get all bent over it.

    • Renee, first of all his benefits expired in 2004 if he did not use them. At that time they were only good for 10 years where as now it is 15. Second, because he did not serve since 9/11/2001 he is not eligible for the Post 9/11 (Chapter 33) benefits. If you have any additional questions regarding his elgibility for these benefits you need to contact the VA or google GI Bill Chapter 30 Benefits. Sorry for your luck.

      • Russell says:

        Renee,

        I dont wanna give any wrong info but if u get the chance check the va.gov site and give this number a call 1 888 442 4551 they have all the info u will need if u qualify, they will also answer any questions u may have
        Good luck

        Russell USN (Ret)

  3. KateKashman says:

    Renee, you can get more information at http://www.gibill.va.gov. There is a limit to how long a veteran has to use their GI Bill benefits. If your husband left the service in 1992, he would not be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI bill as it requires service since 9/11/2001.

    Good luck in your search.

    • Kwilter9 says:

      Kate, Was is the real truth about passing your GI Bill benefits to spouse or dependants? I’ve heard you must still be on Active Duty to transfer it. Is that true? I retired 2004 and have a son who will be graduating high school in 2012. Can I pass my benefit to him?
      Feel fee to email me at
      Thanks

      • KateKashman says:

        Kwilter, Any election to transfer benefits must be completed before a service member begins their terminal leave prior to retirement. I'm sorry that you won't be able to transfer your Post 9/11 GI bill benefits to your son. It is one of the many aspects of the legislation that frustrates many people.

        Thank you for your service!

        • Keith says:

          It goes further than just transferring before terminal leave…it is now a reterntion tool….in some cases you have to commit to another 3-4 years of service at the time you elect to transfer some or all of your Post 9/11 GI Bill to spouse or children….I found that out a few months ago when, after my VA briefer told us all to transfer ASAP, I was rejected by the VA in my request to transfer benefits to my kids as I was retiring in Feb 11 and did not have reatinability….oh well…

          • KateKashman says:

            Keith, I would get a second opinion on that. I'm not an expert, but the things I have read state that the additional commitment requirement is waived in cases where the service member does not have the option to remain on active duty. I'll try to find out more, but please, appeal!

  4. Chuck says:

    Of all the revised versions of the GI Bill, one thing that's been blatantly avoided is getting rid of the 10 year time limit. For veterans who have served honorably and have paid into it, this should be a lifetime benefit. And if they do finally realize that this is the right thing to do, it should be retroactive.

    • Barbara says:

      I totally agree. I served 5 years, and have been a Navy spouse for the past 20. I paid for the benefits, but when I left the service, I had to raise our son while my husband was always going out to sea, plus work a full-time job. I didn’t have the time to go to school in order to use my benefits, so they have since expired. My husband and I both went to school after my son graduated from high school, so we now have our Bachelor’s degrees. But I would love to continue with my education and get my Master’s, but I can’t afford it and my job has cut back on their tuition reimbursement.

    • OS1 (Retired 2007) says:

      They did however increase the time limit now to 15 years, but I agree there shouldn't be one at all.

  5. Analisa Wilder says:

    My husband spent 18 1/2 years in the Army, and he was forced to retire due to medical problem.. His actual date of retirement was Nov 2001, and how come he was not elegible of the Post 9/11?

    • Chris says:

      The requirement for the 9/11 Bill is 36 months of continuous honorable service AFTER 9/11/01. There are prorates for less time, but I don’t think a month will count.

    • Poli says:

      Analisa, your husband may not qualify for Post 9-11 GI Bill, but he may qualify for Voctional Rehabilitation if he has a 20% disability rating from The VA. Tell him to check the VA wed site or his local VA Rep.The web site is http://www.va.gov. Good luck.

  6. mike says:

    i think it is very sustainable, every talk about cutting spending and they immediately want to take it from DOD when they gladly hand over hundreds of millions of dollars to other countries every year, i say we stop paying for other countries and start taking care of our own, and i also agree with Chuck this should definitely be a lifetime benefit.

  7. Creighton says:

    Instead of asking "Can the DoD handle the money issues?" everyone needs to be asking "Can the VA handle the money issues?".

  8. Brenda says:

    My husband served 30 years total in the Marine and National Guard and got out in February 2005 after a tour in Iraq. I think it is a slap in the face to veterans that served in the theatre after 9/11 to not be granted all benefits of the 9/11 bill but new soldiers entering active duty automatically granted full privileges.

    • Brian says:

      I completely agree Brenda! I am a combat disabled veteran and a current veterans advisor (USMC 2002-2006). Everyone who served before me paved the way for me to be in the position of what i am and for that i am forever grateful. I appreciate the sacrifice that your husband has given to this country. I believe all veterans of any era deserve 100% entitlement when they get out of the service. Look into state beneifits for veterans. Most states offer grants, scholarships, and even tuition paid for Veterans. He could collect both to help him and yourself out while he focuses on school.

    • ted says:

      Brenda:
      I had pretty much the same slap in the face when I was retiring from the military after 22years with NO educational benefits due to declining to take the VEAP program and Montgomery GI Bill pay reduction programs 20 years earlier when I was unable to afford to pay. Since my retirement George Bush introduced the Post 9/11 GI Bill for which I am 100% eligible since I retired in May 2005. Now here is the "problem" straight from the master chief petty officer of the navy's mouth at the time I was inquiring as a senior enlisted approaching retirement. "There is no appetite in washington dc to create or extend new educational benefits to senior enlisted personnel who are retired or retiring soon. They already have you." This was right after the US Navy started a 2 year enlistment and college program for new 2 year enlistees, so I empathize with the slap in the face. I since realized Its nothing personal and yes not fair, but its all about money. However,if your husband did 36 months active duty after 9/11 he should be eligible. Im not sure about Guard requirements. Maybe not what you wanted to hear but hope it helps. And yes, good advice, take advantage as soon as you can because congress and the president can change this with the stoke of a pen…

      • Robert C. says:

        I feel very fortunate that they brought the Post 9/11 GI bill onboard. I retired in 2004 with no benefits because I hadn’t signed up for VEAP when I joined, and my admin failed to submit our VEAP conversion paperwork on time because of 9/11. I think that was the last cutoff for VEAP convertors. Anyway, imagine my joy when I heard that they had applied the new benefit, and it included retirees! I hope to start using it soon.

    • Kevin Burke says:

      Yes it is. I served 20 and retired in 2007 but I can’t transfer my benefit to my son. It BS !!

      • Jeff says:

        Kevin I retired in 2005 with 23 years in service and am having a heck of a time getting my benifits tranfered to my daughter. I keep getting that I am not eligable but have the cetificate from VA. Every where I turn to I get the run- a- round. The biggest problem I have is that I do not have a CAC card, just a Retirement card and can not get on the DEERS site to highlight my daughter fro the transfer. Yes I have tried calling DOD, VA and everyone else in between to know avail. It is frustrating to say the least. I am not going to stop until I get a staraight answer. I wish everyone the best of luck.
        Your in Honor
        SFC Jeff Mitchell (RET)

        • OS1 (Retired 2007) says:

          Jeff,
          According the requirements to transfer you benefits, you would have to have done so before retiring because it involves a 2-4 year extra commitment to whatever service you were in. There is a FAQ page on the GI Bill website explaining the requirements to transfer college benefits.

        • albert says:

          Same here, retired in 2004 and can't transfer benefits to your children because you have to be on active duty.

    • JDR says:

      I am a 20+ year veteran and served several tours in IRAQ. I am currently using the benefits provided by the 9/11 GI Bill. I am extremely thankful the benefits are there for me to use and do not believe it is unfair that I am not eligible for all the benefits available in the GI Bill. I chose to get out when I did. Our country did not have to approve this 9/11 GI Bill but they did. All should grateful for what is available and use it wisely while they can. It will not last long based of available finances. I would like to say thank you to you and your family for the many years of service to our country and the sacrifices you have all made.

    • Holly says:

      I agree. My husband served over 20 years in the US Navy, retiring in 2008, through the wars and he is not eligible to transfer the GI benefits to my daughter, who is attending college next year because he retired a year before and this makes him ineligible. He paid his dues and served his country honorably. Not to mention that my daughter and I had to endure his absences during his deployments. I feel this is a right that should be granted to her for her sacrifice during his absences. I am really disappointed that current members only had to serve 4 years to be eligible to transfer this benefit to their family members and this is not extended to my daughter. My husband does not wish to use it and she needs it so why should it matter if she uses it if he is not going to?

      • Erin says:

        Holly, she likely would have been eligible but unfortunately your husband neglected to transfer his benefits before he retired.

    • Brian says:

      I didn't even serve a total of 36 months of active duty after 2001. I joined in 2007. After my deployment I was eligible for at least 60% coverage under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Granted it's based on your active duty time. May not last for 36 months but my tuition was completely covered while using it.

    • Tamara says:

      I too retired after 24 yrs in the Army (2004), and although I qualify for the Post 911/GI Bill, I can' t pass this great gift on to my daughter who will start college this fall. For all those who served after 9/11 we should all be able to pass on this benefit…why the need for that as a retention tool when there is "stop loss"?

    • rick says:

      Branda if your husband got out in Feb 2005 he can get full benefits of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. I got out after nine years in 2005 and I'm using the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. Tell your husband thank you for his 30+ years of service.

    • Gail says:

      I'm not for sure I understand what you are saying. My son served after 9/11, got out after 18 mos with a medical discharge and went to school under the regular GI Bill. When the 9/11 bill came out, he was able to transfer to the new 9/11 bill without any problems….well, other than the fact it took him forever to actually get the payments started. Good Luck.

    • Abel says:

      I understand you guys but how is it my fault I joined after 911 and can now receive those benefits. It is unrealistic for me to think that I will have the same benefits as the soldiers coming in the Army 20 years from now. Its just the way it is. Just like we have better uniforms and equipment than before.

  9. Ed Dodds says:

    I retired over 30 years ago. At that time we where promised many things and as time passes so did the promises. I am proud to say that I am retired as you folks are proud of your service time. With all that said, you folks might just as well suck it up and realize that you to will be used and abused as allot of us where. I hope that you get all that you ask for and deserve, BUT be careful what you ask. You my just get it.
    God bless America and all of the current service members and former members.

  10. Tim says:

    For Brian Harrington: I beg your pardon, but the Coast Guard is considered an Armed Force, the 5th Armed Force! And, Coast Guardsman DO qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I am one of them attending classes now. I am USCG retired after 25 years active duty.

    • Neighbor ofa Coastie says:

      Until a short time ago, the coast Guard belonged to the Department of Transportation, They are now a part of the Department of Homeland Security. In times of war, the President or Congress can transfer the Coast Guard to the Department of the Navy. Unless, that transfer has been performed by the President or Congress, the Coast Guard is not acting as a branch of the military. Although, Title 14 does note that the Coast Guard is a military service at all times. Except when declared by the President or Congress the Coast Guard is a service of the Department of Homeland Security, except when operating as part of the U. S. Navy. So, the answer is yes, the Coast Guard is a military service. However, it is not used as such unless, in a time of war, the President or Congress transfers the control to the U. S. Navy.

  11. Iggy says:

    The thing that bothers me the most over the Post- 9/11 GI Bill is that we had to choose either the older version or the Post 9/11. Personally I picked the Post 9/11 because I received more benefits for the program that I was interested in. Since we took the Post 9/11 we are not allowed to go back to the original GI Bill, but with 2.0 we are losing some of the benefits that were the highligts of the original Post 9/11 bill. I find it very difficult to stomach that I will not receive BAH for semester breaks anymore. It isn't my fault that the school does not have classes during this time. I do however see the positive side of the 2.0 version. I agree that people doing distance learning should get the BAH that they are entitled to. Some people do not have the luxory to go to a brick and mortar school and should not be punished because of that.

    • Chapter 30 Vet says:

      The Post 9/11 benefit is still better than Chapter 30. Also all the benefits are going to lose the monthly stipends during the semester breaks starting in August not just the Post 9/11 benefit.

  12. Damon Baker says:

    I have already transferred the full amount to my Daughter for her education (she is only 6) so by the time she is College age this should be a blessing….but like many here, how much do you trust the government in keeping the current policys? Both my wife and I cross our fingers that it will be there for our Daughter when she is ready (at that point college should cost about a $150K ) but we are also putting money away as well just in case…how does something like this become a guarantee? so many people will plan on this and then what if it is taken away?…what can we do about it? how can it become something that the government will have to honor?

  13. Damon Baker says:

    I know many here love it but the current GI ill makes me scratch my head…”what are they thinking giving that much”? living allowance? really? I’m sure if I was using it I wouldn’t complain but they really went to far with the allowances and I cannot see it sustaining

  14. Ping Jockey says:

    I agree that there should be no expiration date.

    I also agree that it is unfair to those that weighed the benefits of both Ch 30 & Ch 33, then chose Ch 33 are now being taken up the river with cuts without a way to switch back. I wonder how many paid for the “buy-up” program, worthless after switching, and are now watching the cuts being implemented. I am glad that I only have 7 mos left of my MBA, but still think this is a typical bait-and-switch political assault on the one segment of citizens that deserve the MOST benefits.

    I also think it’s hilarious that so many puddle jumpers are sore about that crack made by Brian. Inappropriate, but the reponses are even more amusing.

    • reyna says:

      I think every branch takes their job serious and as I was corrected one day by a retired Army "When in the battle field all blood is the same" and of course everyones battle field is different.

      • Ping Jockey says:

             
        “Do not take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive”
        – Elbert Hubbard

  15. J Rogers says:

    Yes, I am also a Navy vet whom transferred my benifits to 9/11 bill only to find out I can not transfer them to my daughter because I am HYT and was forced into the IRR. I drill every month, at my own expense. It’s not fair! I’ve served my country for over 28 years! I also did all the time they asked for after 9/11.

  16. Warrior says:

    You guys make me laugh. The government currently budgets $35 Billion dollars per year for PELL Grants. That is free money (no payback, no service to the country) just political foolishness. You deserve your GI Bill and the government has no reason to balk at it. Get on the phone to your Congressman and make sure he or she understands you will not tolerate any substantive changes, except expansions.

    • George says:

      Finally! I'm glad someone had the gumption to say something that made sense about the article! The few of us that have served our country with honor deserve every single penny we get!! I served over 20 years and spent three tours in the Middle East and you can best believe that I feel not one ounce of guilt when that housing supplement is deposited in my account every month! Those of you that question it, obviously did not serve…

    • Rainey says:

      I believe that we deserve our GI Bill also and I think you should be allowed to transfer the 9/11 Bill even if you have already retired. I paid into the program so it should be my choice to make, retirement or not. I served 22 years in the Army; retired 2009 shortly after returning from Iraq and I just didn't have all the facts about the 9/11 Bill. I have a child graduating this year from high school and a partial transfer would have been just what we needed. I would encourage everyone to do the research and use the information to benefit your needs.

    • Brenda says:

      What really needs to happen is they grandfather all benefits for these so called congressmen (women), then drop their benefits, and put them into social security like the rest of us. Most of them are millionaires anyway, and they live off of me and you poor (monetarily) guys.

  17. Mike Mauro says:

    I was medically retired in January 2009 due to service in Iraq. I think it is unfair that I cannot transfer my benefits to my children because it has to be after 8/2009. I earned these benefits and I was only 1.5 years from regular retirement .

    Also with everybody saying this is not sustainable all you have to look is at the social programs in this country. You have generations of welfare reciepents. Our government is giving away the bank to other countries. The GI BILL is a great investment for our country. If they cannot take care of the patriots that stood up to protect there freedoms they should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Holly says:

      There are so many in this situation and it is very unfair. I think everyone in this situation should contact their congressman/woman and ask for this eligibilty requirement to be reviewed. Maybe if enough people voiced their concerns it would bring about change. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. It would really help fund my daughter's education, otherwise we have to take out student loans, which will give us a large debt to repay.

    • Will says:

      Who cares if it's sustainable, you are lucky to have them. The post 9/11 educational package is a slap in the face to every older veteran. We don't get anything close to what you guys now have, so quit bitching. My god I mean being paid as an E-5 living allowance, not to mention your 400K life insurance. So just suck it up and shut the hell up with all your crying and complaining about what you think you deserve.
      Every veteran that came before you deserves the same treatment, but they don't get it. I think you should be grateful for what you have, and remember those who came before you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Liza Figueroa says:

    New to VA

    Welcome to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and thank you for your service to our country. The VA was established for one purpose

    “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan…”

    Abraham Lincoln

    Eligibility for VA Benefits
    You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are a:

    Veteran, Veteran's dependent
    Surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased Veteran
    Uniformed service member
    Present or former reservist or National Guard member

    Brian, you may want to review the history of the VA. http://www.va.gov/about_va/vahistory.asp

    CAPT Liza Figueroa, USPHS

  19. Liza Figueroa says:

    Although Wikipedia may post erroneous information from time to time, even they know about the Armed Forces and Uniformed Services.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformed_services_o

    I am currently on my 22nd year of active duty service. 10 years in the Navy and
    12 in the US Public Health Service. I have a DD214 from the Navy and will have one from the PHS when I retire.

    I am very fortunate to have gone to college under my father's VEAP. I also signed up for the GI Bill and paid my dues in the Navy. Now that we can extend the benifits to spouses and dependents I can't because they combined what I used from my father with what I used from the Navy/PHS even though I did not use all of my benefits.

    Thanks to all for serving our country,

    CAPT Liza Figueroa, USPHS

  20. reyna says:

    After reading everyone post I am confused because my husband is in the Marines now and has 25 years of service with his current EAS for 2012 and I have the 9/11 GI Bill chapter 33? I think it is, he transferred it to me so I can finish my Masters degree but whats the BAH you are talking about? I heard someone mention that at school last semester but I thought that was only for actual service member that does not transfer, am I wrong?

    • Mark says:

      You can't receive the BAH because your husband is still active duty. I'm not sure if it would transfer after he retires or not. Check out http://www.va.gov/gibill

    • another vet says:

      BAH is the housing allowance given to those using the Post 9/11 GI Bill at at the E-5 with dependent rate for the zipcode the school is located in. Currently, if you are receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits because your Active Duty spouse transferred then to you, you can not receive BAH (or the book stipend either) because that was the way the law was written.

  21. Rfl says:

    It's not posible? It's not sustainable? What? Our sevice members don't know this words, this phrases. Tell an outnumbered, outguned Marine platoon to take a hill and one thing you will never hear is "It's not possible." They'll find a way, and they'll gett it done. It's a shame that 1/4 of our vets are homeless and that we have 19% unemployment for veterans under 25, but that's what this kind of talk produces. It blocks the brain from looking for solutions, it surrrenders to the idea that there is only one possible out come, to cut benefits. Before we do, let's look for solutions, because I hardly believe that there is a more deserving group of Americans.

  22. woodslayer says:

    I am using the chapter 30 Gi bill and it does not pay enough because I am going to a private school but by taking some of my classes when I was on active duty I would have enough to finish school if they gave it to me all at once. I wish they would just reimburse us for the cost every month it would make it a lot easier than dealing with the reps all the time. I like it the way it is it just needs to be tweeked some. Once you get it started though uit works pretty well with the call in program. and I do not think you should get to use it if you got a degree when you were in and you used TA. The government should pay for One degree not 2 or more. If you are a career student while on Active duty then you are slacking on your duties.
    US Navy MMC (SW/AW) Retired

    • Pat says:

      You said the key word…PRIVATE school……the GI bill will pay for the highest in STATE school for 36 moths and no more…..

  23. Patrick says:

    I am a retired AF E-7 and am using my Post-9/11 benefits right now at a private college. While I certainly appreciate the government’s assistance by way of this program, I absolutely don’t think they should have messed with it. You don’t promise things to people and then when you decided you made a mistake and didn’t include everyone or everything you should have, start taking away what you promised so you can rob Peter to pay Paul.

    There is plenty of government waste and questionable budget items to more than make up for what we have earned and been promised. I don’t agree that this program should become a victim of our budget problems, regardless of what it costs. That was a question that was dealt with at the time the law was passed.

    Our nation relies on us to support and defend the Constitution and to follow orders. Our government needs to follow through on its promise to us just like we did for our government.

    • Pat says:

      i agree…. if you are/were on active duty then you should be entitled to the FULL benefit… if you are a part time weekend warrior then you are entitled to part time benefits… thats just my 2 cents worth….. i also know for a fact that here in Pa. as long as you are a reservist, you only have to pay 2 bucks for a fishing license while active duty pays the full 30 plus dollars…. something is wrong with that system.

      • Patrick says:

        Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the benefits per se. I had a little less than 36 months after 9/11 when I retired, and even though I joined the ANG afterward my total active duty time was enough to get me 90 percent of the benefits. The program is providing me a fantastic opportunity that I hope to repay by becoming a teacher. I just don't agree with taking something away from the military, of all institutions, that was promised. They should have found a better way to pay for it. Of course, I'm biased.

        I'm curious about the fishing license issue. When you say "Reservist", do you mean the federal Reserve troops? Or the state's Traditional Guardsmen? Having been on both sides of the fence, I can see their point if they are offering reduced license fees for Traditional Guardsmen, or even AGRs or Technicians.

        • pat says:

          just the reg. 2 weeks a yr once a month drill on the weekend reservist. all they have to pay is 2 bucks.. and while i was on active duty and as a retired vet i have to pay full price…. i think its bs… go online and look up the pa. fish and game handbook its in there… i even went to the courthouse and asked about it.

  24. Retired Warrant 3 says:

    I'm a retired Warrant that recently finished by Bachelor's using the Post 9/11 Bill and am now working on my Master's. I have twins that are in 11th grade and would rather have the ability to transfer this benefit to them, than any other benefit I rate since my retirement. Unfortunately I retired in 2005 and am not eligible to transfer this benefit in the same way veterans since 2009 can. Veteran benefits are getting better than retiree benefits every month and I think it's high time my seven deployments gets the respect it deserves. Taking from us retirees to sweeten the deal for 1 tour "veterans" is an insult. That is why the GI Bill won't last. It's available for any Tom, Dick, and Harry that did a short reserve tour. If you have half a brain, you'll use it as fast as you can.

  25. Joseph R. says:

    Overall you have to weigh adequate vs extravagant. Military life is traditionally one humility and quiet professionalism. With that

    -look how many people NEVER join legitimate Military organizations like AUSA, NCOA, VFW. Now stack on the dependents who aren’t enrolled in this same organizations as “legacy”, “auxiliary”, “associate” members, etc. The Military Order of the Purple Heart awarded an estimated 80x $ 3,000.00 scholarships in 2010 if I remember correctly. Not to mention they lobby for ou rights.

    There also needs to some stricter guidance about those not making the grade while in college. Some Veterans need to remember eyes are on them set the example as veteran. To carry on the justification of time and money well spent.

  26. Derrick says:

    ok, now i am a little curious now. Are there people out there that are getting BAH in between semesters? I have been using the POST 911 GI Bill for a year now and I have never got BAH in between semesters. They pro-rate and I have only gotten it for when i am actually attended school.

    • ChiefRock says:

      I was getting it. It all stops in August due to the new law that is watering it down.

    • Lisa says:

      Yes, we received our BAH between semesters and during Xmas break; however, it is not the full amount. We received half on the break and then the other half comes when you start back at school.

  27. ChiefRock says:

    I'm a retired Army Warrant Officer, my days in the military were long and complicated like many of my fellow servicemembers. If I had slept 2 hours a night I could have found time to get an education while on active duty. As it was, I decided I would sleep and see my wife when I wasn't deployed. So now that I'm retired I go to school full time on the GI Bill.
    While the GI Bill is generous and a long awaited reward for putting our all into the service it should never be watered down and tampered with.
    How many billions of dollars have we sunk into nations such as Palestine that allow renegades to destroy our equipment on a weekly basis and while they harbor the very terrorists we're hunting in protected tribal regions?
    Why are we always sending aid packages of millions and billions of dollars to other countries?

    • ChiefRock says:

      Now the very veterans that ensure our way of life are going to get watered down benefits and broken promises in return for our service?
      I hope I finish my degree before these traitors steal it all back, our politicians are disgusting filthy animals that are fake to the core. Leave our benefits alone and quit bailing out failed companies in a capitalist economy if you want to save money dirtbags.

    • ChiefRock says:

      That should say Pakistan not Palestine, sorry, I was getting angry while typing.

  28. Gary says:

    I think its a shame that I cannot transfer the ed. benefits to my son. What's the difference whether its paid to me or my son. I retired after 21.5 years on 5/31/2007.

    • Claude says:

      Exactly Gary. I am in the same boat. Let's contact our congressman and demand this lame eligiblity requirement be reviewed. After 20+ years of service retiring in 2008, why can't I use this benefit how I feel it is most beneficial to me and my family?

  29. tyrone says:

    i am new to this my wife has been in the army for 13years how can i go to school on her gi bill

  30. Lisa says:

    My boyfriend is receiving the Post 9/11 benefits for school and BAH. If it wasn’t for this, we would not be able to live on our own and would be forced to move in with family. This is a god sent. He is able to go back to school to pursue his degree and many certifications in HVAC along with us getting our BAH stipend.

  31. Don says:

    Be thanksful you have any education benefit. I retired after serving 20 honorable years, with out any benefit at all. All because the education office at Hill AFB , didn't have all the facts about the the Montgomery GI bill.

  32. lab_rat says:

    Why did DoD not give all veteran who earned the GI Bill the choice to transfer their benefits? I retired in Dec 2006 and I do not qualify to transfer my GI Bill benefits to my daughter who is getting ready to start her senior year in high school. Wrong – Just Wrong….

  33. Agree Also says:

    Like you, I am amazed at the opportunity this lends not only to the Service member but also to his family. DOD absolutely cannot sustain the cost of continual coverage; it is just not feasible. And so I would like to encourage all to use it now while they can. For myself I am one of the lucky ones, my kids are in college now and the last one will be there this August. I am also going back for my grad degree and my Soldier is also pursuing his degree.

    For those who have transferred their benefits to their youngsters, I would recommend taking the funds and going back to school. Get an education that will offer better job opportunities so that you can better provide for them later. The value of the benefits will change and you may wish you had used them now.

    The MyCAAP WAS A DISASTER but is an example of what the future may hold for this fantastic benefit. How many of us wish that we had used the MYCAAP when it first come out? Will you still be wishing later? Act now!

    • ChiefRock says:

      The DoD cannot sustain it because our government chooses to spend billions on other countries problems and wars. We bail out failed businesses which is exactly OPPOSITE the theory of capitalism.
      How is it that you think that this is ok because they are whining now that they cannot sustain the pace of benefits?
      Did my deployments somehow become less meaningful or the 20+ years I served become less valuable because they forgot how to properly budget?
      I think not.
      Our government never has had their priorities straight and they need to focus on the American people along with the US Servicemember that sacrificed.

  34. Michael Gobert says:

    As far as programs like the Post 911 GI Bill our government can not be trusted since the majority of our government have never worn the uniform. So over all they don’t even know what they are doing let alone try to think of programs. Also the majority government officials only get into office to get a pay check while having no clue of reality. I have noticed that the majority of programs have more limitations than they are useful.

  35. Arturo Maambong says:

    This is subject for a long debate, Upset must not be the conclusive feelings.

    Politics and Military service must have unity to avoid misunderstanding between the law makers and the United States Armed Forces because We stand United.

  36. Average Vet says:

    I just find it funny they have trillions to offer big banks but when it comes to the soldier that fights and sacrifices for his/her country its always the "Opps sorry no cash in the piggy bank" excuse. Why do they need to cut from a one of the best programs the government has given the individual US soldier in a long time to increase benefits in other areas of the same program, why not cut the wasteful spending on campaign marketing or other programs that are started, never finished but not before tens of millions are spent on them before they are scraped. The government talks a good game about supporting the US soldier but when it comes down to it we are disposable like the rest of their toys.

  37. R.J. says:

    Referring to the politicians and how much they get paid, get off your ignorance. Have you ever looked at Officer pay in the armed forces like a 3 star general take home of about 16000 /M. You must ask a few questions on this complaint to put it politely. Who is your congressman? If you can't answers that then find out !!! Next Wright your congressman and with good solid argument about what ever issue you have and ways to solve it. Also get your friends to do the same. I find most people complain about issues and fail to take action. I used to tell my Marines there is a Bitch and a complaint, complaints come with suggestions on how to fix it. Anything else is just ignorance.

  38. Aron says:

    I ask that everyone here, send a letter DIRECTLY to the White House, via their website. I sent mine yesterday, as I was writing my draft during the State of The Union Address, and made key notes that he said, which affected the "message" of my letter. The White House website will accept up to 2500 characters, my "letter" was 2 full pages, and it fit. Also, do your research, find out WHO, and HOW your Senate and Reps. etc VOTED on the topic. Send them a copy of your letter that you sent to the President. It's worth the effort, and it let's you local/state politicians know how you feel about it. Go one step further… if your case is like mine, I found who the rep is in the location for the school you go to/intend to go to…see how they voted…and send them your letter also. Bravo Zulu to all that serve and have served. Good Luck.

  39. Dave says:

    Of course the current benefits are not sustainable. They should do away w/the transferring the education benefits to the servicemember’s children for one. Let the servicemember’s kids join the join the military themselves to earn these benefits. I got my education benefits as a Vietnam Era veteran, they could have been better but they were something @ no cost to me excepting performance of honorable military service. There are surely some aspects of the “new” GI Bill that can be cut others that should not be. The question, as I see it, is cut what makes sence & keep what makes sence. But hey folks, we’re talking about the government here….aren’t we? Don’t hold your breath about them using common sence in anything.

  40. Eddie says:

    The government has given the veterans during the 9/11 era a handsome benefits. As one of the veterans of this era, we are very appreciative of the benefits and right now have given me a huge opportunity to expand my educational and skill knowledge. Now we are on the middle of this, some inconsiderate lawmakers want to cut this benefit. This will put us hanging and not to be able to finish our educational goals. And who are the "Other" that they are referring to. We all went to fight for the country, served and given our years of life to serve and defend the constitution. They gave us a good incentive and benefits and now they want to take it back. It is like giving a candy to a child and when the child is enjoying it, then you want to take it away. What a shame to those lawmakers and authorities who want to cut our benefits. What they need to cut is their own salaries and benfits. They passed a law yet they are exempted from it. A very hypocritical attitude on their parts.

  41. Tamara says:

    ..100% permanent and totally…I believe those are the words!

  42. Kent says:

    When I joined the service I had one semester to complete for my degree, and I eventually completed my degree. I did receive post benifits however following 9/11 I could not continue my military service because I was injured on active duty. I completed approximately 13 years and am now using my VA benefits. I wanted to complete my 20 years I was unable. My Question if anyone can answer is why is there no provision for allowing me to transfer my benefits to my daughter who is in college. If I understand correctly if I extend my service obligation I would be able to. However, because I am 50+ disabled I am disqualified for allowing her the benefits.
    Maybe I am unclear on the progarm. Can I transfer my Post 9/11GI Benefits to her even though I am a disabled Vet?
    if anyone could assist me I would greatly appreciate it …..

  43. Auriceye says:

    It is not a surprise, the manipulation being done on the entire family of veterans both career and non-career vets. Just wait until Secretary Gates gets done with his cutting and hacking on our benefits, health care and the rest! We'll be lucky if a vet has anything left!

  44. Lisa Miller says:

    My husband just started back to college and we have not yet received anything from the GI Bill but was told we would get the BAH. I was wondering if someone could explain to me about the time period which No BAH is offered?

    • Ry says:

      I’m in the same boat… Started school in January, but my first BAH payment doesn’t arrive until February. Just like an active duty paycheck, you get paid “after the work is done”.

  45. jim daisy says:

    When I started back to school last year it took almost 3/4 of the first semester to get my bah but its been like clockwork on the first ever since.

  46. sherri smith says:

    Take away spouse and children benefits (the ones who didnt serve or earn the benefit) Before taking away from a veteran who served and earned the benefit.

  47. meg says:

    i know its super frustrating. i quit my job and didnt recieve my pay till 3 months after i quit my job. i was very mad but when i finally started recieving the post 9-11 it comes like clockwork. the waititng is the frustrating part but when u get it its very worth it

  48. jake says:

    Not sustainable? What about those majority of soldiers who never have even used the gi bill, but still paid $1200? It was explained that it was a form of investment into the program. It's hard for me to imagine all those funds just disappearing or not being enough when a large number of soldiers don't even use the gi benefits.

  49. Ken says:

    add illegal to alien, please. Because legal aliens do pay taxes. Not to mention my siblings, now citizens, have spent over twenty years in the service collectively, including 4 deployments each , including a stop loss.
    ..
    Oh and I wouldnt want prisoners picking my tomatoes, dont know what they do. Maybe have them do some mining or something.

  50. Aaron says:

    I retired as a disabled vet nearly 4 years ago and It has been tough. There really isn’t an option of going to school when a person has to work to support their family. But when they came out with the Post 9/11 GI Bill it started to make sense. Please note: in order to take advantage of it you would have to transfer from the old program which allowed for four years of school. The new one only allows for 3.
    But when I found out that during the mandatory summer and winter breaks my “Housing Allowance” will STOP???
    That is rediculous. We all adjusted our budgets and living plans on this check to help pay our expenses while in school. I go to a school that works on quarters so I don’t have it as bad, but when adding up the two and three week break periods between quarters it adds up to nearly 2 months that I am now going to loose that I was getting last year. And based on where I live it is equal to now poising $3500 that I was getting last year. Now if they want to make changes then fine. BUT I signed up under one program. I should be locked in to the old program. Now I am going to be forced to tighten my belt or try to find another way of earning this money that was taken away. Then they give the benefit to someone who doesn’t even have to leave their house to go to a class. The gas cost alone makes it not right. If you take all your classes online, maybe youshpuldnt be getting the same benefits that the other guy that has to drive 45 minutes to school every other day.

  51. daniel says:

    Well Claire, let's just hope that things stay the same. I am a beneficiary of the current GI Bill and it is awsome!!! As far as spending, they are already starting at t he bottom of the problem, and that's people that should have been kicked out a long time ago in the first place! Then, the draw down in Iraq and Afganistan will slow the demand for soldiers and that means another couple of milions. So, thare are solution other than modifying the Bill. Let's just pray and hope.

  52. FED says:

    try E5 bah in san francisco or new york city, it will make san diegoers jeolous as well

  53. jazmine says:

    WOWW same here my hubby seperated from the Navy a few months ago and Is currently enrolled in school full-time. He's going for a degree in pharmacy!! People do get really jealous when they learn the miltary pays for his school! Even though it's hard we are making it!! He's getting E-5 BAH and it's awesome!!!

  54. Jay says:

    Aaron,
    Your argument doesn't hold a lot of water. I was on Active Duty, working a 2nd job evenings and weekends and STILL found the time to go to school with a half or 3/4 full load. Oh, and I have a family too. Having to drive 45 min to schools is simply an excuse for you to whine. Do what others have done and switch schools or try on-line classes.
    You're looking for a free ride, and while the Post 9/11 GI Bill is a heluva deal, there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

  55. Really?? says:

    Must have been nice to have a paper shuffling job at a desk, try that when you are either deployed or training for deployment every 2 to 3 months…I was in 7+ years and I managed to get 1 class, and that was like pulling teeth because command bitched and moaned about it so much!!