Editorial: G.I. Bill Provides Veterans Better Opportunity

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Soldiers becoming students will receive more money for school.

With the Senate voting 75-22, and the House of Representatives voting 256-166, it shows the new G.I. Bill is a bipartisan effort.

With the passage of the updated G.I. Bill, it means the government's doing the right thing for soldiers and future soldiers.

About 64 years ago, Franklin D, Roosevelt signed the first G.I. Bill to help veterans pay for college expenses. Now, the updated version passed in June will give more money to veterans to offset rising costs.

Soldiers often put their lives on the line for something greater than themselves, so they not only deserve, but have earned the money to go to college. After you serve the country, the least the country can do is give you an education in return. With that, they can move on with their lives and rejoin society and the general public.

But when you think about it, it doesn't affect current students as much as it will future. Young men and women who joined the military right out of high school to serve in the Middle East can go to college. For students who are members of the ROTC and are already college students, they can serve in the military and use the G.I. Bill to further their education.

And for goodness sakes, service men and women deserve these benefits. They earned it with their toil and sweat. The money isn't a handout because they are volunteering to put themselves in harm's way.

And money isn't going as far as it used to. Education costs have risen for ages, and just during the past year, oil prices have soared toward unbelievable heights.

Increased benefits for veterans who fight in the Middle East after Sept. 11 is overdue because it is all-volunteer forces.

Students might feel bitter about not getting benefits because they aren't in the armed forces, but they are sacrificing anything. They are not putting themselves in a position to die to protect fellow Americans.

It's all based on give and take, not just take. Too much of our society is focused around the concepts of "me" and "now." Being a soldier is a selfless job and requires bravery that's beyond what people have every day.

John McCain didn't agree with the bill and didn't vote on the bill when it was in the Senate, but it's good to see the original bill got passed. Barack Obama supported the bill.

We don't want politicians to bicker about the bill. Instead, this country needs it passed. If they want to look out for the soldiers and possibly attract more of them, they had to get this bill passed as quickly as possible.

And there wasn't a lot of opposition to the bill, which was introduced by a Democratic senator 18 months ago. President Bush signed it into law.

The price of education has risen and we've all felt the pain. Once these soldiers come home after the war, whatever the result might be, they will have to move on. And with this bill they can. They can live normal lives again like any average American.