Senator's vision to pass legislation comparable to original GI Bill becomes law.
President George W. Bush, a member of American Legion Post 77 in Houston, signs a supplemental appropriations bill into law the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The legislation had been introduced by U.S. Sen. James Webb of Virginia, a highly decorated Vietnam War Marine Corps veteran and American Legion member, on Jan. 4, 2007, his first day in office.
Webb worked closely with The American Legion and other veterans groups, including the newly founded Student Veterans of America, which at the time was provided free office space at American Legion National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to modify and improve the legislation before passage. The Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 deliberately aimed to make the GI Bill benefits package similar in value to the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 and to better meet the needs of 21st century student veterans. Among the changes from the Montgomery GI Bill is the ability for qualified veterans to transfer college benefits to spouses and dependents.
“I looked at this, both as a veteran and as the father a young Marine in Iraq, and I started saying, if you’re going to call these people the next greatest generation, you should give them the same opportunity for a future that the greatest generation had.”
- Former U.S. Sen. James Webb, who introduced the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, speaking at a 2017 panel discussion called “The GI Bill: Then and Now” at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans