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Friday, November 11, 2011

College-Bound Vets Face Challenges With New GI Bill

Derek Hollcraft, left, and Brandon Thomas, veterans of the current wars, discuss problems they and other veterans have encountered as they reenter civilian life at the office for student veterans at Broward Community College in Coconut Creek, Fla. (AP)

Derek Hollcraft, left, and Brandon Thomas, veterans of the current wars, discuss problems they and other veterans have encountered as they reenter civilian life at the office for student veterans at Broward Community College in Coconut Creek, Fla. (AP)

Nearly 800,000 veterans were in college last year on the new G.I. Bill, a sharp increase from the previous year.

That increase is thanks in part to the new G.I. bill that was passed in 2009 and offers more educational benefits for vets.

But veteran reporter Jon Marcus found that many vets are struggling when they get to college.

“Growing numbers of student veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injuries and other disabilities, and many are returning to school with full-time jobs and families to support on top of the usual demands of college,” he writes.

Marcus also found that many veterans had trouble getting their benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As 51 year-old veteran Roger Parker said to Marcus, “I did everything my country asked of me. No one told me that when I came out of one hostile environment, I would end up in another hostile environment fighting for my benefits.”

Guest:

  • Jon Marcus, reporter for non-partisan, non-profit education news outlet, The Hechinger Report

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