The GI Bill

 

ANNCR: The GI Bill — Today on Congressional Moment

Financial aid has been offered by the government to veterans and their families to shield them from economic hardship. It's a tradition that dates back to pre–Revolutionary War days. As armed conflicts increased over the years, so did the benefits offered by States and the Federal government.

In 1944, Congress passed the landmark GI Bill. A more comprehensive version of earlier bills, it provided assistance to World War II veterans in the form of educational tuition aid, medical benefits, and special rates on home and farm loans.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan is an example of a veteran who used the GI Bill to improve his life by furthering his education. Growing up in a poor family, he used his veterans benefits after the war to attend Tufts University in Massachusetts, where he later earned his doctorate. He became a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics in the early 1950s, and eventually broke into politics. He went on to serve four distinguished terms in the Senate, and was a member of four successive presidential administrations… both Democratic and Republican.

The GI Bill for World War II veterans is considered one of the federal government's best investments, paying dividends to the nation for decades. It has undergone several modifications for veterans from the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War and up to the present day. It continues to evolve, as each generation of veterans presents new challenges.

STANDARD CLOSING: This is Lee Hamilton. Congressional decisions impact all our lives. To find out more about how Congress works, or to get involved in your government, visit the Center On Congress Web site at congress.indiana.edu.