Posted by: Lister | April 22, 2008

Education For Troops

Decline and Fall posts about supporting the troops (Or thanking the GIs, as the washington Post puts it).

TO DATE, 56 senators and more than 200 representatives have signed on to legislation to revamp GI educational benefits. They recognize that the men and women fighting today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not getting their due.

[…] Impetus for the bill comes from Sen. James Webb (D-Va.), a veteran with a family history of military service. Mr. Webb and a co-sponsor, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), also a veteran, rightly argue that post-Sept. 11 veterans are being shortchanged by a system designed for peacetime that has not kept pace with increased college costs. Their bill, introduced in January 2007, would be true to the original GI bill enacted after World War II in providing a cost-free education to those who serve in the military.

[…] Disappointingly, Sen. John McCain, presumptive Republican candidate for president, so far declines to back the measure. He seems to be responding to concerns of the military brass that enhanced educational opportunities could negatively affect retention rates. Not only is it wrong to want people to stay in the military because they have no alternatives, but such thinking ignores the advantages enhanced educational benefits offer in recruitment. To meet recruitment goals, the military has offered bonuses and lowered some of its standards. Imagine being able instead to promise possible recruits a first-class college education.

Decline and Fall says of McCain:

This isn’t Supporting the Troops, it’s Supporting the Defense Establishment. A veteran such as John McCain should know better; and he should do better by the young men and women he has sent, and pledged to send, to risk their lives in Iraq for his corrupt and pointless war.

The dailypress says:

McCain told reporters Monday he was working on alternative legislation aimed at ensuring that troops do not leave the military earlier than planned to go to college.

“We are working on proposals of our own,” McCain said on his campaign plane, according to ABC News. “I’m a consistent supporter of educational benefits for the men and women of the military. I want to make sure that we have incentives for people to remain in the military, as well as for people to join the military.”

[…] Webb has bristled at that criticism, saying a college education should be viewed as “a cost of war” that is owed to veterans. Webb himself, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, used the GI bill to pay for his law school degree.

“There are too many people in the Pentagon who are seeing a good GI Bill as affecting retention rather than rewarding service,” Webb said

That last link via Donklephant.

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