I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sen. Edward Markey’s (D-MA) deputy state director here in Boston Monday to lend my voice to the fight against significant cuts to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. As an IAVA team leader for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I was proud to do such important work on behalf of my fellow veterans.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill didn’t exist when I enlisted back in 2000. Years later, I was able to switch programs and opt into it. This was a game changer that significantly impacted the course of my life, allowing me the opportunity to advance professionally at a much faster pace. In 2012, I graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Leadership from Northeastern University, and I was quickly appointed as the university’s first veterans’ representative. This past fall, I was installed as the inaugural director of NU’s new Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers (CAVS). Additionally, for the past two years I’ve served on the board of directors for the National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators (NAVPA).
It occurred to me that I wouldn’t be alone with the deputy. As an IAVA team leader, I was there to represent 450,000 members of the organization. As the director of CAVS, I represent the 650 veterans/servicemembers and another 150 military dependents that attend Northeastern. And finally, as a NAVPA board member, I represent veteran, military, and dependent students and their colleges and universities around the world.
Our discussion yesterday was very positive. I was assured that Sen. Markey plans to fight the provision of the House-passed bill (H.R. 3016) that reduces benefits promised through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Veterans and dependents should be encouraged to know that meetings like mine are happening all over the nation as IAVA mobilizes members to take action. Moments like this make me proud to be an IAVA member.
Please make your voice be heard and contact Congress today to ask them to keep this promise to our nation’s veterans and their families. Take action here!