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 jeff@latasgroup.com.

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