From the March 2008, VFW Magazine.
According to an article in the Air Force Times, Congress has fulfilled half of the legistlative promises it made to veterans and their families in 2005. The GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century-a huge bill that promised troops and their families better pay and benefits-was unveiled on May 5, 2005, and since then seven of the 14 major objectives have been met.
Listed below are the seven promises that have been fulfilled;
1. Active-duty personnel levels increased.
2. Enlistment bonuses increased.
3. Pay reductions for combat-wounded troops eliminated.
4. Tricare coverage expanded for reservists.
5. Funding for veterans health care increased.
6. Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder improved.
7. Fee increases for Tricare and VA healthcare prohibited.
Here are the seven proposals that are yet unfulfilled;
1. $1,000 bonuses for returning war veterans.
2. Extension of survivor payments for minor children.
3. Income protection for reservists who are federal workers.
4. Full concurrent receipt of disability and retired pay (some benefits approved with delayed start and at reduced amounts).
5. Repeal of the survivor benefit offset (some benefits approved with delayed start and at reduced amounts).
6. Increase active-duty and Reserve GI Bill rates.
7. Elimination of the $1,200 GI Bill enrollment fee.
Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas), who introduced the original 2005 legistlation and will receive VFW's 2008 Congressional Award, told the Air Force Times that the 110th Congress will focus on securing the rest of the wish list. "There is still much more work to be done, but this is a new day," he said. "This is the beginning, not the end, of the process."