Letter: Bill seeks to modernize veterans’ education benefits

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich speaks with veterans at the American Legion Allingham-Golding Post 18 in Silver City, July 4, 2017. (Photo provided)

Dear Friend,

I am proud that this week the Senate passed bipartisan legislation that I introduced with Senators Tom Udall, Jon Tester, and Johnny Isakson that will modernize and strengthen veterans’ education benefits and enhance the post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 further invests in the proven educational success of our veterans and helps propel them toward becoming our nation’s civic, business, and public leaders.

Since it was approved just weeks after D-Day, the original G.I. Bill has made a tremendous impact on our nation’s heroes and their families – and helped build America’s post-war economy. We owe it to this generation of servicemembers to provide those same educational benefits and opportunities that they too have earned. Modernizing the education benefits of the post-9/11 G.I. Bill will open doors for New Mexico’s veterans and their families and put our entire nation on a more prosperous path.

Our legislation puts an end to the arbitrary 15-year period that a veteran is required to use their G.I. Bill so they can use their benefits at any time in their professional career. The bill also makes much-needed updates for reservists, Purple Heart recipients, veterans, and surviving family members who face school closures while enrolled and surviving family members, and offers additional educational assistance to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, computer programming and career technical training.

As your United States Senator, I am committed to keeping America’s promise to our veterans and their families so that when our troops return home, they receive the benefits they have earned. My office can help veterans with their VA claims, their military records or medals, their GI benefits, and VA home loans. I encourage you to visit the Veterans Resources Center on my website or call my office at (505) 346-6601 if I can be of assistance to you or your family.

We must be unwavering in our commitment to our men and women in uniform who deserve more than just words of gratitude for their sacrifice when they return home.

Martin Heinrich, United States Senator