Veterans eligible for supplementary education benefits
TAMPA, Fla .– The United States Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of veterans seeking more benefits for education and skills training.
If the decision is upheld, veterans with multiple periods of service would be eligible to receive GI Bill benefits.
What would you like to know
- New U.S. Court of Appeals ruling will allow veterans with multiple service periods to receive additional benefits
- Now veterans who qualify for both the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post 9/11 Bill are eligible to shoot from each, which was not previously allowed.
- Veterans like Lenny Woods say they would greatly benefit from new move
Bay Area veterans say they have been fighting this battle for several years. This change, they say, would give them the benefits they have rightfully earned.
US Navy veteran Leonard ‘Lenny’ Woods is still moved by his last tour of service at Beruit, Lebonon in 1983.
“I lost seven,” said Woods. “We were really there as a peacekeeping force and to train civilians to take care of their own and the barracks blew up.”
Woods’ next mission was to retrieve the bodies of his comrades.
“It was hard, really hard,” he added.
Life after service was even more difficult, he says.
“I was 54 when I graduated, which is too late,” said Woods.
Woods says it was a struggle for him to take advantage of his GI Bill for education.
“They weren’t going to provide me with enough funding until I was sure I was disabled,” he said.
The circumstances are different now.
“Now the veterans can come out of the military and get this education. “
The court ruling found that veterans eligible for both the Montgomery GI Bill and the Invoice after September 11 are eligible to draw from each. Previously, it was considered a “double payout” by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
However, Woods says veterans need all the help they can get. Like many others, he says he could not have progressed in his studies without the GI Bill.
“I don’t think it’s fair for a veteran to have to leave a military branch and not have something to do.”
The court ruling will now make it easier for veterans to learn a new trade and get jobs.
“It’s an accomplishment I felt I needed to make and I’m glad I did,” Woods said of his graduation.
No matter how late the start of this education is, Woods says it is the best step in adjusting to civilian life and becoming an active member of society.