This summer, the Rethink Vets program launched by The Heinz Endowments has been encouraging employers to consider hiring more veterans.
The goals of this campaign have just received substantial support from Congress. Both the House and Senate unanimously passed the “Forever GI Bill,” a sweeping expansion of education benefits. It boosts them by more than $3 billion over the next decade and provides flexibility in their use.
It’s worth marveling a moment over the unanimous votes in the House and Senate, two bodies riven by internal warfare. The jaundiced view is that political extinction awaits anyone who votes against support for our vets. But the more accurate view is that the GI Bill has been one of the most successful tools for social advancement in American domestic policy.
Created in June 1944 for the wave of World War II veterans about to re-enter civilian life, its wisdom was to provide money for life’s building blocks — education, vocational training, low-cost mortgages, business loans — rather than just put cash in hand.