The New GI Bill (continued)


by David Safier

A few days ago I posted about the new GI Bill Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va) has been pushing (The New GI Bill). I’ve been meaning to post a comment by Jeff Latas but kept putting it off.

Jeff, for those who don’t know him, is a retired Air Force Lt. Col. who was one of the 2006 candidates for U.S. Representative from CD-8. He is currently the chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party Veterans’ Caucus.

The legacy of the original GI Bill created a standard of living which we Americans still enjoy today. Veterans of WWII were given an opportunity to attend universities which only the privileged of our society were allowed prior to the war. Millions of veterans became educated, moving our country into a time of prosperity like none other.

My father and seven of his brothers and sisters were some of these veterans who were able to attend college, the first college educated generation in this family. My father became an educator. The original bill, enabled by the investment of a Democratic-led Congress, no doubt did more for our country in terms of increasing the standard of living we still enjoy. Now, two generations later, our government is going myopic and refuses to see this as an investment in the future of our country.

After fifty years the opportunity has eroded for our veterans to attend college, stymied by red tape and difficult hurdles to jump. Every veteran should be able to attend any college or university which receives federal funding with little to no hassles. No matter your age, when or where you served, combat or peace time, the veteran should have a free education.

The Arizona Democratic Veterans’ Caucus is currently working on this issue. I encourage anyone, veterans and veteran activist, to join this caucus to help push for better education opportunities and health benefits. You can contact me at

Send Jeff an email if you want to take part in the work the Veteran’s Caucus is doing.


  1. One other point on the GI Bill which I think IS way past time of being passed in Congress; It should have been FIRST on the Agenda of the Clinton Administration as he CUT over 500,000 troops and slashed the Pentagon’s Budget funding of everything from Armor to planes to ships to nuts and bolts!

    Jim Webb’s Son is a Marine serving in Iraq. I noted Jeffs son, was in the Army before tragically passing away from cancer, and Jeff often commented on his not being able to pay for the treatments if it had not been for the Army Insurance.

    I too was a Candidate for Congressional cd8 in 2006 and suspended my campaign continuing to accept funds and file with the FEC as active; continuing to run for cd8, and am trying to recal Jeffs advocating for a GI Bill of this Magnitude and can not? I might have missed something and that is why I asked Jeff for what he had done in The pentagon etc. to advocate for anykind of a GI Bill?

    Many of my friends in The Pentagon have said;” There IS alot of Anger Here;” and I will not go further than that, but if Jeff could elaborate a little more on what went on there during his time spent and after I think it would help everyone understand more why there is NO GI BILL!!

    I support the new GI Bill but wonder why it is being advocated for by a Democratic Caucus and not a Bi-Partisan Bill?

    Please COUNT ME IN in SUPPORT OF JEFF LATAS and JIM WEST and JOHN KERRY and a REPUBLICAN PETER KING of the Congress as they push this bill foward in a BI-Partisan Bill that will be signed by The President!

  2. I had asked Jeff in a previous posting of this same topic ” What Lt. Col.Latas had done while working in the Pentagon to help the GI upon retirement?”

    I did not see an answer?

    I have many friends working in The Pentagon , one was in Command and Control of Air Force one, another was in charge of all the call-ups into the Armed Forces from The National Guard, then charged with returning them back to there units.

    No-one remembers a GI advocate named Lt. Col. Jeff Latas?