Showing posts with label GI Bill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GI Bill. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Senate bill protects veterans in college during COVID-19 at home study

Senate passes emergency bill protecting GI Bill benefits as colleges go online

Stars and Stripes
Published: March 17, 2020
Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee, the ranking Republican of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, introduced a bill last week that also would guarantee the housing stipends for student veterans remain unchanged during the outbreak.

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Ranking Member Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., asks questions to witnesses during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Looking on at right is committee Chairman Jerry Moran, R-Kansas.

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a measure late Monday that would ensure student veterans continue to receive full GI Bill benefits, even as colleges go online-only in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

GI Bill recipients rely on monthly stipends from the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay for housing, food and other bills. Those payments are higher for students who attend physical classes as opposed to online coursework. As classes began to move online last week to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, tens of thousands of student veterans faced the possibility of losing their benefits or seeing drastic cuts to their monthly checks.

The Senate approved an emergency fix by voice vote that would allow students to retain the amount of benefits they received when they started the semester. It gives the VA Secretary broad authority to ensure GI Bill benefits are distributed without interruption during national emergencies.
read it here

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Caldwell University has agreed to pay $4.8 million for defrauding veterans program

Caldwell University to pay $4.8M for defrauding veterans program

New Jersey Business
By: David Hutter
January 6, 2020

Caldwell University entered into an agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey to resolve an investigation dating back to 2013, according to Caldwell and the United States Attorney’s Office.

Between 2009 and 2013, Caldwell College had a contractual relationship with Ed4Mil, a company that provided on-line training courses to veterans in conjunction with Caldwell, Caldwell spokeswoman Colette Liddy told NJBIZ.

Unbeknownst to Caldwell’s board and cabinet, Ed4Mil personnel and a college employee engaged in a scheme to defraud the government, Liddy said. The college employee separated from employment with Caldwell before the scheme was discovered. A number of people from Ed4Mil, including its principal, and the former Caldwell employee have pleaded guilty to criminal charges, she said.

Liddy said the board of trustees and the cabinet of Caldwell University have denounced this conduct and along with the administration are truly sorry for what occurred. Caldwell University cooperated with the government throughout its investigation, she said.

“Caldwell has been committed to making restitution to the United States on behalf of the veterans of our country by returning all of the money that the University was paid under the Ed4Mil contract,” Liddy said. “To that end, as part of the agreement with the United States Attorney, Caldwell has agreed to pay $4.8 million, representing the funds Caldwell received under the contract with Ed4Mil. Since becoming aware of the misconduct in August 2013, Caldwell University has developed new policies and procedures to ensure that this type of conduct will not happen again.”

From Jan. 1, 2011, through Aug. 8, 2013, Caldwell University submitted false claims for payment to the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive education benefits and funds pursuant to the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act (Post 9/11 GI Bill) to which it was not entitled, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. He also stated that the post 9/11 GI bill was designed specifically to help veterans who served in the armed forces after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
read it here

Thursday, November 29, 2018

GI Bill Forever a headache for veterans!

Today there was this release from the VA.
Statement by Secretary Robert Wilkie on Forever GI Bill Housing Benefit Payments

To clear up any confusion, I want to make clear that each and every post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiary will be made 100 percent whole – retroactively if need be – for their housing benefits for this academic year based on Forever GI Bill rates, not on post-9/11 GI Bill rates.

I made this clear to Chairmen Isakson and Roe on calls yesterday and want to reassure Veterans and taxpayers that is indeed the case.

Although VA has encountered issues with implementing the Forever GI Bill on Congress’ timeline, we will work with lawmakers to ensure that – once VA is in a position to process education claims in accordance with the new law – each and every beneficiary will receive retroactively the exact benefits to which they are entitled under that law.

And yesterday NBC News reported this.

Veterans Affairs Dept. tells Capitol Hill it won't repay underpaid GI Bill benefits recipients
By Phil McCausland

For weeks, student veterans across the country have raised an alarm about delayed or incorrect GI Bill benefit payments, which the Department of Veterans Affairs has blamed on computer issues.

But on Wednesday, the department told congressional staffers that it would not reimburse those veterans who were paid less than they were owed, two committee aides told NBC News.

The news conflicts with a promise VA officials made to a House committee earlier this month that it would reimburse those veterans who received less than the full amount they were due.

According to the aides, however, the VA said it could not make retroactive payments without auditing its previous education claims, which it said would delay future claims. The aides asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

NBC News previously reported that some veterans were forced into desperate financial straits stemming from a change in calculating housing allowances under the Forever GI Bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law in July 2017. When its computers were unable to process that change, the VA quickly faced a backlog of veterans’ claims three times higher than normal.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

Post-9/11 GI Bill Housing Payment Rates Update

November 28, 2018
Post-9/11 GI Bill Housing Payment Rates Update
WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced key changes in the processing of GI Bill benefits payments under the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (Forever GI Bill).Because of continued information technology difficulties with implementing sections 107 and 501 of the law, both of which change the way monthly housing allowance payments are calculated, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has directed Under Secretary for Benefits Paul R. Lawrence to take the following actions:
  • Effective Dec. 1, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will reset its implementation efforts for sections 107 and 501 of the law to give the department the time, contracting support and resources necessary to develop the capability to process Spring 2020 enrollments in accordance with the law by December 1, 2019.
  • This includes soliciting bids from contractors for support in the areas of program integration, systems implementation, and software development. 
  • During this time, VBA will pay monthly housing allowance rates for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the current academic year uncapped Department of Defense (DoD) Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) rates.
  • For many students, this DoD BAH rate will be equal to or higher than their current payment.
  • VBA will also correct retroactively any underpayments resulting from section 107 and 501 implementation problems.
  • If a student was overpaid due to the change in law or because of VBA’s challenges in implementing the law, the student will not be held liable for the debt.
  • Also, for the current academic year (2018-2019), VBA will pay housing allowances based on the location of a school’s main campus, rather than the physical location of the student.
  • This interim policy will terminate by December 1, 2019, upon implementation of a fully developed IT solution for sections 107 and 501 of the law.
  • Finally, VBA will define a training site as a “campus” when the following conditions are true: the physical site of the training is either owned or leased by the school, and the school has ownership or control over the student’s classroom instruction or the faculty conducting the instruction. This approach reduces the administrative burden for schools and students from VBA’s initial interpretation of the law.
As these changes are implemented, VBA will remain in continuous contact with Veterans, Congress, Veterans Service Organizations and other stakeholders to ensure everyone is informed and knows what to expect. 
“Redesigning the way VBA calculates Post 9/11 GI Bill housing rates during a busy academic season was like flying a plane while building it, and that was unfair and frustrating to Veterans and taxpayers. That’s why we are resetting our implementation of the law for the next year to ensure we get the technology and formula right to put Veterans first,” said Secretary Wilkie. “In the meantime, beneficiaries receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowances will be paid at the DoD BAH rate, which in many cases will be equal to or higher than their current payment.” 
While VBA’s pending education claims inventory was three times higher than normal in early September, that figure is back to normal levels. For more information on VBA’s pending education claims inventory, see here.

VBA strongly encourages schools to begin submitting enrollments immediately for the Spring 2019 term to help VBA process them in a timely fashion. This will ensure that Veteran students receive their housing payments promptly and schools receive tuition and fee payments. VBA expects to maintain timeliness standards of an average 28 days for a new enrollment and 14 days for a re-enrollment.

If students require assistance with their GI Bill benefit or experience a financial hardship due to a delay in payment, we ask them to contact our Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 between 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.  Students may also keep in contact with VA on our social media sites; on Facebook at or on Twitter at VAVetBenefits.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Why any of them would want to serve at all?

Military cannot meet recruitment goals, or keep promises

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 24, 2018

"Army struggles with soldier shortage as recruiters miss goals" is the headline on the Gazette by Tom Roeder that came out late last night.

The problem is, the rest of the story was not mentioned. So, let's take a look at what was not printed.
"Combined with other bonus programs, a new recruit could pocket more than $40,000 in addition to their pay with recruiting deals."
Considering the "deal" of additional money was promised, so were a lot of other things promised. 

For starters, the GI Bill, which left thousands with unpaid tuition, housing and funds to live off of putting many into the homeless veterans world of pain. 

"The Army had a goal for 2018 to add 76,500 soldiers to its ranks, and came up with just 69,972."
Well, sure it is easy to blame the economy for the shortage of those willing to serve, but when there were almost 70,000 willing to put their lives on the line, in a "hot economy" that proves to be false reasoning.

Troops are still being deployed into two nations over a decade after they were started. They are deployed into different parts of the world, taking them away from their families and friends. 

As for families, many are on food stamps, lack safe housing and face no accountability or even concern, so they are forced to sue the government. What makes it worse is when the same government pays landlords to provide housing with mold and mice. The reports came out about the Marines, Air Force and other military families, but when you look back, you see it happened in every branch.
"The Defense Department said this month that the National Guard saw a recruiting shortfall of more than 9,700 troops and the Army Reserve fell short of its recruiting goals by more than 4,200 troops."
See all of the above for them, but add in how they are taken away from their homes and jobs to be sent to the boarder without a clear mission or timeline.

Add in how many have had to come up with funds to pay the government back because the government messed up and over paid them.

These men and women are great at keeping their promises, but they are not kept from the government.

The question is, not why they cannot meet recruitment goals, but why any of them would want to serve at all?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

FORTUNE got GI Bill report WRONG

Reporters need IT upgrade!

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 17, 2018

"10,000 Student Veterans Haven't Received Crucial GI Bill Payments, VA Admits" is how Fortune reported the GI Bill payments what were not delivered. WTF?

We just read how the number is 82,000!

They also got the wrong info on the IT system!
“Essentially, the law requires a 50-year-old IT platform that was designed to do the equivalent of basic math to instead perform something akin to calculus in short order,” a VA spokesperson told the Journal in an email.

The VA spent $4 million on 300,000 hours of overtime August through October to try and deal with the immediate ramifications. The agency further estimates that 450,000 veterans have some sort of error in their payments.

Last year, the VA estimated that the necessary computer changes to update their systems would cost $70 million.
Ya, they did, but what happened to all the other millions and all the lost years?
"We live in a world where we never want to see what goes on in the lives of the men and women we depend on for what we enjoy. No one wants to see the price they pay or how hard they have to fight in combat we send them into or the nightmare they have to go through trying to move on with their lives. It's easier to ignore them as if they weren't there." Kathie Costos Wounded Times
In 2008, the thought was to create a new GI Bill that would inspire more recruits into the military. This was reported by Stars and Stripes.
"It is a very attractive incentive package, there’s no question about that. So individuals will be very interested in enlisting for education benefits," predicted Curtis Gilroy, director of accession policy for the Department of Defense. "But we will see a spike in the quality of our enlisted cohort as well," Gilroy added, because that heavier flow of prospective recruits "primarily will have college in mind."
The House was very busy back then. They were also adding funds to what came after the recruits were turned into veterans.
By a vote of 409-4 the House today passed legislation funding the Department of Veterans Affairs for FY 2009. The bill (HR 6599) includes $3.8 billion for mental illness treatment and $584 million for substance abuse treatment in the VA, significant increases over current year funding. Overall, the Veterans Health Administration budget is set at $40.8 billion for FY 2009 -- $1.6 billion more than the President requested and $3.9 billion more than current levels. It is projected that the VA will serve 5.8 million veterans in 2009.

It is really a shame on all of us when there was a surplus of funds that were supposed to be for suicide prevention.

Oh, but the problems with the VA did not happen overnight  and when we look back at what was promised, what was spent, and what the results turned out to be, most heads explode!
In 2008, there were reports on how the system was not just broken, but plans to fix it were AWOL.
VBA's pending compensation and claims backlog stood at 816,211 as of January 2008, up 188,781 since 2004, said Kerry Baker, associate legislative director of the Disabled Veterans of America, during a Wednesday hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. 
Baker said VBA must have the funds necessary to upgrade its IT infrastructure to handle the backlog and a growing caseload. Anything short of an increase is "a recipe for failure," he added. 
Carl Blake, national legislative director for the Paralyzed Veterans of America, said VBA needed $121 million in its fiscal 2009 budget for its information technology. According to VA budget documents, VBA requested an IT budget of $109.6 million for its compensation and benefits programs, down $23.8 million from $133.4 million in 2008. VA requested an overall 2009 IT budget of $2.53 billion in 2009, up from $2.15 billion in fiscal 2008, with the largest portion earmarked for the Veterans Health Administration.
But that only added to the 8,763 veterans dying while waiting for their claims to be honored. But since that was not enough, by June of 2009, the VA claim backlog hit 1 Million! The answer was to spend $70 million more to replace the  appointment system.

I could keep going on this, but you get the idea now that no matter how much money contractors got paid to deliver the care our veterans deserve, they did not have to repay one dime and Congress just kept funding more of the same. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Veterans College Bills part of the broken deal still

UPDATE 11/20, 2018

Veterans Affairs unexpectedly canceled overtime work to address GI Bill claim backlog

UPDATE: Can someone please update POTUS on what has happened to the GI Bill? This is from Stars and Stripes
Trump also said his administration has improved access to education benefits for veterans. 
Read the rest for yourself. It is too depressing to know the rest of the story.

It appears that reporters forgot how to LOOK UP WHAT THEY ALREADY REPORTED ON!

Veterans Affairs official reassigned after House hearing over delayed GI Bill benefits

NBC News
By Phil McCausland
November 14, 2018

A House committee will hear testimony Thursday from Department of Veterans Affairs officials over delayed GI Bill payments potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of veterans. NBC News reported Sunday that computer problems at VA have caused GI Bill benefit payments covering education and housing to be delayed for months or never be delivered, forcing some veterans to face debt or even homelessness.

On Wednesday, one of the key witnesses called to testify from VA was reassigned by the federal agency to a regional office in Houston, multiple officials told NBC News.

Robert Worley, executive director of Education Service of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), based in Washington, has been appointed to serve as the executive director of the VBA’s Houston regional office, according to two sources close to the VA and an email reviewed by NBC News.

Molly Jenkins, a spokeswoman for Republicans on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, confirmed Thursday that Worley would be departing his current position to lead the VBA office in Houston.
read more here


Well, that is the way NBC reported it.  It turns out that way back in 2008, there was another report about President Bush signing the GI Bill too. In that report the "overhaul" was a long time coming.
"And, for the first time since the Vietnam War, there will be a completely free veterans' education benefit program that pay enough to fully cover the cost of getting a four-year college degree."

According to followup reports, it was going to cost and additional $100 billion over the following ten years. There were reports that "state by state benefits"were not consistent. 

By 2009, a famous student named Clay Hunt, was among those waiting for checks to pay tuition and housing, so while attending Loyola, he used $4,000 on his credit card, while the school was owed $6,000 for tuition and he owed $1,700 for housing and books.

You may remember the name Clay Hunt because Congress passed a bill in his name. The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act, because that is how his story ended. President Obama signed that one in 2015.

Back to the GI Bill, in 2009, the VA was looking for a contractor to help process claims. In 2011, 55,000 veterans were waiting for their claims, and history was repeated all over again. And in 2012, more of the same.

Senator Bernie Sanders was trying to get answers on if anyone bothered to figure out how to pay for the benefits they voted to deliver on.

Just as reporters seem think that forgiveness of Student Loans for totally disabled veterans is something new, it isn't, they seem to have forgotten that nothing that veterans face is new at all, even though it may be "new news" to reporters.

In 2015, benefits were cut for a disabled veteran in Denver, and then he was given a list of homeless shelters in the area. Why? Because he was attending gunsmith classes. No one told that before he moved into Denver to start school.

Oh, but it got worse because in 2016, the Senate voted to cut the benefits, they were still having a hard time paying out in the first place.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Homeless Vietnam Veteran, after serving his country for 34 years!

Want to know what good reporters can do?

Start with this Vietnam veteran, who also happens to be post-9-11 veteran.
"Homeless, after serving his country for 34 years. He was part of the last Vietnam War draft in 1971 and was called back into full active duty after 9-11. Due to age, he was forced to retire in 2012 and decided to go back to school on a G.I. Bill."
He didn't give up afterwards. He had ambition enough to go back to college, but the VA messed up his claim.
"The debt piled up. The V.A. eventually decided that not only was it not going to pay Harold, but it had mistakenly overpaid him $15,000 and wanted that money back. Harold couldn't pay, so the V.A. turned him over to the Department of the Treasury, which now wanted $20,000. Harold dropped out of school, lost everything and had to sneak onto his old boat to sleep because he couldn't afford the slip fees."
There is a happy ending to this story and you can read it here! NewsChannel 3 Investigates by C. J. Ward

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Without Warning Senate Votes To Cut Veterans Education Benefits

Vets Group Criticizes Senate Panel Vote to Curb GI Bill Housing Aid
by Brendan McGarry
May 13, 2016

"In a normal process, they would have published a schedule and in two or three weeks time, we're having a hearing to mark up this particular bill,'" Jonathan Schleifer, the organization's chief policy officer, said on Friday during a telephone interview with

"This was done certainly without any notice or warning."
A veterans group is criticizing a key Senate veterans committee for voting to curb the GI Bill housing allowance.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Thursday issued a statement blasting the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee after members approved omnibus legislation that would reduce by 5 percent the Post-9/11 GI Bill housing allowance to pay for other veterans programs.

"As Congress quietly passed another bill cutting veterans education benefits, veterans are stuck having to beg for the benefits we earned," IAVA Chief of Staff Allison Jaslow said in a statement. "We fought hard eight years ago to get the Post-9/11 GI Bill passed and we will not quit fighting until Congress protects the benefits being earned on the battlefield as we speak."

The Senate committee, headed by Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia, during a hastily convened session on Thursday afternoon unanimously voted in favor of the legislation, known as the Veterans First Act.

The circumstances surrounding the vote also drew criticism from IAVA officials.
read more here

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Barber Going To Jail After Clipping VA Funds

Ninety-Six man convicted of trying to defraud Veterans Affairs 
ABC News 4 
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) — A 48-year-old man from the town of Ninety-Six was sentenced in federal court this week for conspiring to defraud Veterans Affairs.

Charles B. Harris was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered him to pay $45,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors showed during the trial that from 2011 to 2014, Harris owned and operated the Greenwood Barber College, a school that was approved by the VA to teach veterans how to be barbers. Harris was supposed to certify student attendance and progress.

In December 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs received a complaint that Harris was conspiring with various veterans in stealing government funds, prosecutors said.
read more here

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

DeVry University Suspended?

VA suspends DeVry University from a key veterans program
Washington Post
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
March 14, 2016

The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday suspended DeVry University from participation in a program that identifies schools doing a good job of serving former troops, in light of a federal lawsuit accusing the for-profit chain of misleading consumers about the employment and earnings of its graduates in advertisements.

The agency is taking action after reviewing a Federal Trade Commission case against the school filed in January, VA spokesman James Hutton said in a statement. The lawsuit alleges that DeVry deceived consumers about the likelihood of finding work, with claims that 90 percent of its graduates seeking employment land jobs within six months of graduation. DeVry is under threat of losing access to federal financial aid from the Education Department if it fails to pull those advertisements and notify students of its inability to substantiate the claims.
read more here

Saturday, October 31, 2015

John McCain Defends Colleges Over Veterans

This makes sense today considering it is Halloween. Is this trick or treat? Trick is McCain is pulling a switch on who is getting the treat and who the trick is being played on. Does the word delusional come to mind?
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), in a speech on the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, charged that fellow Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has "orchestrated" a "shameful ... vendetta against for-profit universities." McCain upped the ante by asserting that Durbin has a "well-known record of not supporting the men and women who are serving in the military."
Yep! He really said that even though we all know how much McCain does not support veterans as he constantly reminds them he is one of them.
In his own floor speech yesterday, Durbin encouraged the Pentagon to continue its investigation. Durbin noted that Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said that the University of Phoenix was the "worst by far" for-profit college in terms of taking advantage of the vets who are members of his organization.
Top that off with the fact McCain strongly opposed Jim Webb's GI Bill calling it "too generous" and now he is defending those responsible for getting that "generosity" by using veterans. Statement of Senator Jim Webb on the White House's Embrace of his 21st Century GI Bill
This bipartisan coalition consistently rejected the allegations of this Administration, and of Senators McCain, Burr and Graham, among others, who claimed that the bill was too generous to our veterans, too difficult to administer and would hurt retention.
You can read the rest of this on The Huffington Post McCain Lashes Out At Durbin, Defends Veteran-Abusing For-Profit Colleges

Here are a few more of what McCain got wrong. John McCain needs to remember he's a veteran

Friday, October 9, 2015

DOD Puts University of Phoenix on Probation

Defense Department puts University of Phoenix on probation 
JD Daily News
By Defense Department
Posted Oct. 9, 2015
The Department of Defense yesterday announced sanctions against the University of Phoenix, suspending it for from participating in its tuition assistance programs and barring school officials from recruiting at military facilities, including job fairs.
Statement by Matthew Boulay, Executive Director, Veterans Student Loan Relief Fund and an Iraq War veteran: Washington, DC – October 9, 2015 –

The Department of Defense yesterday announced sanctions against the University of Phoenix, suspending it for from participating in its tuition assistance programs and barring school officials from recruiting at military facilities, including job fairs.

The 14-day suspension allows the company to respond, after which the suspension can be extended or ended (with or without conditions). The move came after news reports uncovered improper recruiting and marketing practices by the school.

The report, by Reveal, exposed how the company paid the military for exclusive access to military bases, holding recruitment events disguised as “resume workshops” and improperly using military insignias on giveaways without required authorization. read more here

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Army Veteran Says For Profit Colleges "They were exploiting my brothers."

For-profit colleges are using the GI Bill to make money off veterans
Los Angeles Times
Chris Kirkham and Alan Zarembo
August 18, 2015
(Morgan Noelle Smith / Los Angeles Times)
Paul Fajardo, a Marine Corps veteran who is completing a degree in medical assisting, prepares a needle to practice giving an injection at National Polytechnic College in the City of Commerce. Fajardo had attended Corinthian's WyoTech campus in Long Beach until California suspended GI Bill benefits for the company's schools.

Many of the nation's largest for-profit college chains have seen enrollments plummet amid investigations into questionable job placement rates and deceptive marketing practices.

One crucial source of revenue, however, has remained a constant: military veterans.

For-profit colleges have collected $8.2 billion from the latest GI Bill since it went into effect in 2009, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of government data. Those colleges enroll only 8% of all U.S. students but 30% of the 1.4 million veterans who have used the most recent version of the GI Bill.

That money for years helped prop up some of the industry's most distressed institutions — including ITT Educational Services Inc. and bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc. — which needed the funding to meet tough regulatory requirements.
U.S. Army veteran Don're Walker took one of those recruiting jobs at an ITT campus in Orange County in 2012. He quit less than a year later.

His department faced intense pressure to enroll GI Bill beneficiaries, Walker said. Once he understood the school's high tuition costs — and students' low probability of transferring credits to traditional colleges — he regularly advised veterans against attending.

"It was basically 'Get people in any way possible,'" he said. "They were exploiting my brothers."
read more here

Friday, August 14, 2015

McCain Defends His Claims About Record, History Unmovable

I needed a good laugh this morning and actually got one. "McCain defends record on vets from Trump" "As Ronald Reagan used to say, 'facts are stubborn things,'
and Senator McCain’s long history of working on behalf of his fellow veterans is clear" and it sure is. McCain's record on veterans is well known and shows that he has not been a friend to veterans in the Senate. His votes against them screamed how much he does not support them.

As for the other part of this article on veterans getting medical treatment from private doctors, he's been pushing for that for decades instead of making sure the VA was able to take care of them. It isn't a recent thing at all. Plus, if he really cared, then why didn't he ever serve on the Veterans Affairs Committee?

This is from August 2008

Does McCain know what he says is taped?
Stars and Stripes' interview with Sen. John McCain
By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes
Stars and Stripes online edition, Monday, August 11, 2008

Q: The backlog in the VA system is still very sizeable and a concern to even many of the younger guys. I don’t know how you’re looking at the issue, and how you fix something that the current administration has really struggled with.

I think the best thing we could possibly do is focus military medical care and the VA on treating the wounds directly related to combat: PTSD, combat wounds which they are uniquely qualified, through years of experience, to address.

I think in the case of veterans that have ordinary health care needs, routine health care needs, we should do everything we can to give them a card that they can take to the health care provider or doctor of their choice to get health care immediately.

Q: I know there has been a push by the current administration to take those healthier veterans and have them pay to help support the system, even a small, nominal fee. I don’t know if that’s something that you’d support.

First I think we’ve got to make sure that veterans receive the care, and then we have to worry about if there’s any necessary changes. I’m unalterably opposed to telling future generations of Americans that we’re not going to give them the health care they need in service for our country.

That means that I would be very reluctant, I would be opposed to imposing more financial costs.

Here's a few more reminders.

This is from the Detroit News January 15, 2008
"At every stop since he began his Michigan blitz on Saturday, McCain recognized the veterans in the audience. He's promised to provide better medical care to veterans in the early days of his administration."

And he kept saying that for all these years of sitting in the Senate. Yet all these years we've seen the results. There is something in the Bible about making claims like McCain has,
Matthew 7:16-20 King James Version (KJV)
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

McCain wouldn't support the Merchant Marines
Now all these years later, the few Merchant Marine war veterans still alive would like to see Senate Bill S961 passed. The House of Representatives passed the bill in 2007. Our two Arizona senators, Jon Kyl and John McCain, have not signed on even though 57 other senators have.
The bill is known as the "Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II."

McCain wouldn't support the GI Bill
VA: $94 billion for 2009 and still $3.3 billion short
Vet care spending is at record level
USA Today By Gregg Zoroya Posted : Wednesday Jul 23, 2008 12:38:35 EDT

The federal government is spending more money on veterans than at any time in modern history, surpassing the tidal wave of spending following World War II and the demilitarizing of millions of troops.

Expenditures hit $82 billion in 2007 because of the rising cost of health care, the expense of caring for an aging population of mostly Vietnam veterans and a new crop of severely wounded troops from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That exceeds the $80 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars spent in 1947 after most of the 16.1 million Americans serving in World War II left the service, according to a Congressional Research Service report submitted to Congress last month.

An 11 percent hike in spending is slated for this fiscal year to $91 billion and the Veterans Affairs Department has proposed $94 billion for 2009. And still more is needed, said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is seeking another $3.3 billion for the 2009 budget proposal.

“While we are spending more than in previous years, we are still not meeting many of the health care and benefits needs of our veterans,” Murray said.

Last month’s passage of a new GI Bill will add $100 billion in education benefits for veterans over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and his Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama clashed over the bill last month.
McCain opposed it, saying its increased education benefits might encourage troops to leave the military.

Yet, President Bush decided to give McCain credit for passing the GI Bill,
"I would like to again express my appreciation to the veterans' service organizations, many of whom communicated their support of this bill directly to a skeptical White House, and to the 58 Senate and 302 House cosponsors of this landmark legislation. This bipartisan coalition consistently rejected the allegations of this Administration, and of Senators McCain, Burr and Graham, among others, who claimed that the bill was too generous to our veterans, too difficult to administer and would hurt retention.

By the way in case anyone forgot, the GI Bill was by Jim Webb and he was shocked that McCain felt the way he did.

This could keep going and going but as bad as his record was on veterans it was just as bad for the troops. When suicides kept going up, he just ignored them and did nothing to hold anyone accountable. As a matter of fact during more of the hearings for the Senate Armed Services Committee, he usually walked out and those videos are all over CSPAN.

McCain also called Suicide Prevention "overreach" and fought against passing it.
McCain calls suicide prevention an "overreach" and blocks bill! If all the parents out there visiting the cemetery this year for Christmas instead of sitting down with their veteran son/daughter watched this video about McCain, they would line up in front of his house and demand he resign from the Senate.

McCain told Representative Rush Holt "Don't give me a lecture" as Holt tried to explain this crisis.

McCain can say whatever he wants and hope as hard as he can that no one looks up his record. Well at least he got half his wish since members of the press forgot how to do a simple Google search to find out what the truth really is.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Veteran Education Benefits Cut Then VA Sends List of Homeless Shelters?

Disabled vet says VA cancelled vocational education rehab plan, sent him list of homeless shelters
ABC 7 Denver
Lance Hernandez
Feb 16, 2015

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - Jeremy McVay says he couldn't believe it when the VA in Montgomery Alabama sent him an email suggesting he reach out to homeless shelters in Colorado.

The disabled veteran, who was stationed at Langley Air Force Base during 9/11 as a ground equipment technician, moved to Broomfield in late January after his case worker signed off on a vocational education rehabilitation plan.

He started a gunsmith class last Monday at the Colorado School of Trades in Lakewood.

Shortly afterwards, the VA notified him that his plan had been cancelled.

He said they told him that because his educational plan involved guns, the caseworker’s supervisor needed to sign off on it, but no one told him that before he moved to Colorado and started taking his class.
read more here

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Free College Education Left Arizona Veterans With Bill?

Veterans billed for VA aid fault Pima College 
Arizona Daily Star
By Carol Ann Alaimo
February 6, 2015
Spencer and Kinsey are among 400 or so veterans whose records were adjusted by PCC last year after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found record-keeping errors dating to 2010.
Iraq war veteran Mikel Spencer has a Bronze Star, a bachelor’s degree and a $5,000 tab for an education that was supposed to be free.

James Kinsey, who also served in Iraq, said he recently faced a $19,000 bill after Pima Community College wrongly labeled him a dropout.

The former soldiers have been mired in red tape and red ink over PCC’s past failures to keep proper records for students who received veterans’ education benefits. As a result, some veterans were told they owe the federal government thousands of dollars.

Months after the school pledged to make things right for those affected, the veterans say PCC provided little help and left them on their own to fight off federal debt collection.

“I felt like a dog chasing its tail,” said Kinsey, 27, now a graduate student in international security with a 4.0 grade-point average at the University of Arizona. He attended PCC from 2010 to 2012.

So did Spencer, 47, who works at Tucson’s veterans hospital and graduated last year from Northern Arizona University with a 3.8 grade-point average.

The two don’t know each other and separately contacted the Arizona Daily Star about their cases.

Both say the college treated them poorly and gave questionable advice when they sought help.
read more here

Monday, June 30, 2014

Veterans shafted by "substandard" colleges in California

GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges
Center for Investigative Reporting
Aaron Glantz
June 30, 2014

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

"It's not education; I think it's just greed," said David Pace, a 20-year Navy veteran who used the GI Bill to obtain a business degree from the University of Phoenix's San Diego campus.

Although taxpayers spent an estimated $50,000 on Pace's education, he has the same blue-collar job he landed right after he left the service: running electrical cable for a defense contractor.

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.

The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.
read more here

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shinseki explains why veterans are hurt by government shutdowns

Shinseki: Advance Funding Won't Solve VA Problems
by Bryant Jordan
Mar 13, 2014

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Wednesday told a Senate panel that advance funding for all VA operations would not solve all the department problems in the event of another government shutdown.

Shinseki told lawmakers previously that he could not say whether advance funding – which the VA now gets for health care programs – would be a good idea. He told the House Veterans Affairs Committee last year the administration would have to look at the impact on other federal departments.

On Wednesday, he told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that advance funding has worked out for VA patients and employees and would seem “to make sense for our other accounts [operations].”

But then he indicated that advance funding probably would not help since other agencies that the VA must deal with do not have the same kind of protection.

“In the case of veteran benefits, we can’t process a claim within our own confines,” he said. “To process a claim, we have to go to Social Security to validate other disabilities, go to the IRS to validate ... threshold income requirements. We deal with [the Defense Department]. We deal with the Department of Education [for] the GI Bill, the Department of Labor on employability issues.”

“The best way for us to be meeting our full mission would be to have a budget for the federal government every year,” he said. “That would make all of our work much easier.”
read more here

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Veterans in college face loss of GI Bill

Student veterans may lose stipends
Indiana Daily Student
OCT. 15, 2013

Adam Argenti spent the first part of his 20s in the 25th Infantry Division of the US Army. Enlisting in 2005, his years of active duty included two deployments to Iraq.

Now 26 and a junior criminal justice major at IU, Argenti receives $2,000 a month through GI Bills he earned for his service.

As a married homeowner, he said he relies on the monthly stipend to pay many of his bills.

Come Nov. 1 , he may not get that check he depends on.

If Congress is unable to approve a budget by late October, Argenti is one of 463 IU students who won’t receive their monthly stipend, Margaret Baechtold, director of IU Veteran Support Services, said.

Federally funded through the Department of Veteran Affairs, students can qualify for GI Bills for their service or the service of certain family members.

In total IU students collect more than $451,000 a month from GI Bills, and without that money, Argenti said he would have to start using his savings to get by.

“It’s a little ridiculous that the government is acting like children,” he said. “It hurts a lot.”
read more here