6 May, 2005
The Honorable Tim Johnson
United States Senate
Dear Senator Johnson:
FRA wholeheartedly endorses your decision to reintroduce legislation providing senior enlisted military members with the prospect of utilizing enhanced educational benefits.
There are thousands of senior enlisted personnel who entered service during the Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP) era (1977-1985) actively seeking an opportunity to sign up for the MGIB. In light of their decision to dedicate more than 20 years of their lives in service to our Nation, such a request is hardly unreasonable.
Too often the MGIB is characterized exclusively as a form of compensation or as a "recruiting tool." However, FRA would argue that it is also an investment in our nation’s future. Many veterans, using GI bill benefits to further their education, have gone on to become highly productive members of our society. These individuals also pay taxes, returning more revenue to the U.S. Treasury than what they might have been able to without a degree, and easily more than what was spent paying for their education.
It is only fair to extend the opportunity to utilize the GI Bill to the men and women who have chosen to make the military a career, and are currently training the next generation of military leaders.
Please convey our appreciation to Todd Stubbendieck and Jody Bennett for their outstanding assistance and support of this initiative. FRA appreciates your efforts and once again applauds your continued and unwavering support of our military service members.
JOSEPH L. BARNES
National Executive Secretary