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As a veteran with firsthand experience in VA educational benefits, the Sarge is pleased to note that this month marks the 25th anniversary of the Montgomery GI Bill. Named after former House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman, G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, the Montgomery GI Bill was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on June 1, 1987, and continues to serve today’s veterans and service members. The Montgomery GI Bill was a successor to the original GI Bill, which put hundreds of thousands of World War II veterans through college upon their return home.

To mark the anniversary, the members of the 112th Congress’ Committee on Veterans’ Affairs have issued the following tribute:

* “The Montgomery GI Bill was emblematic of the nation meeting its obligation to those who serve in uniform. Countless veterans were able to use this benefit to get the education and tools that enabled them to become valuable members of our society. America is strengthened by the contributions of our veterans, and our veterans were strengthened by the Montgomery GI Bill.” — Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

* “The Montgomery GI Bill is a great American success story. After the Second World War, the GI Bill was critical to our nation’s prosperity and the rise of the middle class. The Montgomery GI Bill and its successors continue to allow Americans to thank our defenders by helping them transition into a new field following their service to our country.” — Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican.

* “Sonny Montgomery was the chairman of the Veterans’ Committee when I joined Congress in 1993. He was a man who served the veterans and worked to make sure the compact this nation made with their soldiers was not forgotten. The GI Bill that bears his name made sure that all veterans were able to use their benefits for education. I was pleased to support a successor of his GI Bill [Post-9/11 GI Bill] that expanded educational benefits to cover more expenses, provide a living allowance, money for books and the ability to transfer unused educational benefits to spouses or children.” — Rep. Phil Roe, Tennessee Republican, and Rep. Mike Michaud, Maine Democrat.

* “On Memorial Day, we paid tribute to the brave service members who have fought and died for our country. Today, we mark the anniversary of the Montgomery GI Bill, one of the important ways that we honor the service of our men and women in uniform. Nearly 2.6 million veterans have used their much deserved Montgomery GI Bill benefits to earn an education and make the transition to civilian life. I’m immeasurably proud of our troops and I’m proud of our commitment to their service.” — Rep. Marlin Stutzman, Indiana Republican.

* “As a 26-year veteran of the United States Air Force who earned my college degree with the help of the GI Bill, I know firsthand how important this opportunity is to our veterans who have so bravely served America.” Rep. Bill Johnson, Ohio Republican.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email sgtshaft@bavf.org.