WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Post-9/11 GI Bill has distributed over $30 billion to 1 million veterans, service members, and their families, the Department of Veterans Affairs said.
Through the bill, which was enacted in 2009, veterans, service members and their families receive money for college tuition and other education-related payments, the Department of Veterans Affairs said in a release Friday.
“This is one of the most important programs helping our Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans reach their educational goals and find a good job,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We’re proud this important benefit is making such a big difference in the lives of so many Veterans and their families.”
“Over the next few years, as more than a million service men and women end their military careers and return to civilian life, education will be at the forefront of that transition,” said Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. “As a community college teacher, I have seen firsthand the qualities our veterans bring to the classroom – dedication, a sense of teamwork, and a commitment to their work. Helping our veterans succeed in the classroom so they can go on to find good jobs to support their families is one important way we can thank them for their service.”
On Friday, Steven Ferraro, who attends Middlesex County College in New Jersey, became the 1 millionth Post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiary, the department said.
“I thought it was a great privilege to be the one millionth recipient of the GI Bill,” said Ferraro. “Coming back to college after leaving the military, it was a great stepping stone for me and my family.”