I had a wonderful meeting with senior staff to U.S. Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA). I am California University of Pennsylvania’s Director of Veterans Affairs and an active IAVA member, so I was surprised to learn about the proposed cuts to the Post-9/11 GI Bill in Congress. Unfortunately, these cuts include a 50% cut to the housing allowance for children who will be transferred the benefit from their parent. Given these cuts, I wanted to meet with my elected officials to ask them to keep the promises made to us as service members and to defend the G.I. Bill.
These cuts are extremely important to me, for two reasons: 1. I used the MGIB and REAP for my undergraduate degree, and a portion of my Post-9/11 GI Bill for my graduate degree. Keeping the promises to both our service members and families is extremely important to me. 2. My fiancé is currently serving in Afghanistan. She has not used any of her G.I. Bill and when we do have a family, we’d like to transfer any remaining entitlement that she has to our children. We both have our graduate degrees and we would like to afford the same opportunities to our children. These potential cuts hit home for us.
I recently saw that IAVA began a campaign to preserve the Post-9/11 GI Bill and is asking Congress to defend the benefits that have been promised to our military and veterans and to oppose all attempts to use cuts to the GI Bill to pay for other programs. Sen. Toomey’s staff expressed his desire to learn more about the proposed cuts and to seek out more information pertaining to the proposals. The aide was very appreciative of my enthusiasm and of IAVA’s defense of the GI Bill. I think it also helped that he and I are Pittsburgh Pirates fans and attend a lot of games at PNC Park!
I’m glad I had the opportunity to be part of the legislative process and also provide examples of how our military and veteran families in Pennsylvania will be affected. I truly hope that Sen. Toomey and my other elected officials stand with IAVA, my family and my fellow military and veterans on this very important issue.
PA Vet?…Why not call Sen. Toomey’s office to let your voice be heard! Take call to action here.