I had a great opportunity to meet with the offices of my U.S. Senators, Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). I recently learned about proposed cuts to the Post-9/11 GI Bill in Congress, including a 50 percent cut to the housing allowance for children that will have the education benefit transferred to them. I wanted to ask my elected officials to keep the promises made to service members and to defend the GI Bill.
This is an important issue for me because, for the past 15 years, our country has been at war with only one percent of our population constantly answering the call to duty. What strikes me more is the sacrifices that families have had to make. We all have seen the three minute YouTube videos showing veterans coming home and surprising their happy families. What you don’t see are the nights of a single parent trying to keep up with the house work, taking care of the kids, being there for other military spouses, and always worrying about their deployed wife or husband. Service members’ families do all of these things with no guarantee that their loved one will come home, or that they will return the same as when they left.
During both meetings, I was warmly welcomed by both staffs and they were very supportive to the challenges military families have experienced over the past 15 years. I believe that some of the provisions in the bill are excellent, but they shouldn’t be paid for by military families who have already endured so much. I told them the bottom line is that the GI Bill isn’t a piggy bank.
I’m glad I got this chance to be part of the legislative process and I sincerely hope that Sen. Brown and Sen. Portman stand with veterans on this important issue.
Are you a veteran? Take call to action here and tell your Representatives on Capitol Hill to stand with IAVA to #DefendTheGIBill.