Veterans to benefit from new GI Bill

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Veterans and military members of the post-9/11 era are able to enjoy the benefits of the recently passed GI Bill.

Similar to the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act passed in 1944, the new bill covers tuition, housing and book costs at any public institution for four years for eligible veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill also allows current servicemen and women as well as Reservists and National Guard members to attend a public college or university for four years free of cost.

“They have already had about 100,000 veterans overall sign up for benefits,” said Lee Belcher, the past post commander of Marengo Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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The bill does not replace current veterans’ benefits being received under state or previous federal legislation, but instead serves as a supplement.

“Veterans can now receive federal GI Bill education benefits and also Alabama veteran benefits,” Belcher said. “With the University of West Alabama and Alabama Southern right here near Demopolis, this is a good place for the GI Bill to start.”

For information about the new GI Bill, call the Marengo County office of the Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs at 295-2243.