On 30 June 2008 President Bush signed the Webb GI Bill into law. Proponents of the bill claim that we owe these benefits to vets and that it will improve recruitment. Opponents of the bill claim that it will diminish retention, as recruits will leave the service to attend school as soon as their enlistment ends.
It’s easy to see the arguments on both sides. I’m not quite sure about the retention argument. Military life is something one enjoys or does not. Sticking it out solely for benefits might not make for the most motivated troops. Both arguments may be relevant, but they are not an issue for me. Education is.
Many attribute the great growth in the economy following WWII to the GI Bill. Never in the nation’s history had so many been so educated. The results were dramatic. We now face competition in a global economy. We face a worldwide energy crisis. To meet these challenges it’s imperative that we provide for an educated workforce. The Webb GI Bill is a good place to start.