Our view: Giving back to those who give the most

DKS Editors

In a story in yesterday’s paper titled “Vets graduate without debt,” it was reported that a new Post 9/11 GI Bill was passed Aug. 1, 2009, and its aim was to give financial support to Iraq War veterans looking to pursue a higher education.

According to the article, any veteran who has served in active duty for three years since 9/11 is eligible for financial assistance in obtaining a graduate or undergraduate degree or technical or vocational certification.

We all know the financial burden that attending a major university can put on a person. From housing costs, overpriced books and the obscene cost of tuition, it takes a small fortune to put oneself through college. Even after four or five years are up, the odds are that student loans — in whatever amount — await you when you graduate.

Veterans who attend Kent State have their tuition entirely covered, and they receive a stipend for books and a housing allowance. They won’t have to take out a single student loan, which can be a sticky process even the most sadistic couldn’t enjoy.

With the new GI Bill, veterans won’t have to worry about any of that.

They deserve the right to higher education without having to sacrifice their life savings on top of everything else they have already given. They deserve every penny they get and more. The men and women of the armed forces put everything they had into protecting our country, and they are entitled to a chance at a better life and the potential for a promising career.

It is hoped that the bill will also serve to help veterans adjust to life at home. After serving in the armed forces, many veterans come home at a loss. They feel disconnected from their families, from children they missed raising; or they struggle to find a way to adjust to a normal life, the life they had before they went to war.

Maybe the new bill will not only serve as a way to encourage veterans to pursue their education, but also as a means to coping with the return to a normal life back home.

Bravo to those who helped bring the new Post 9/11 GI Bill into existence. Veterans from Iraq have seen such horrors and experienced things that no civilian could possibly imagine. They’ve lost so much, and they deserve to get something back.

They have already carried the burden of war; they shouldn’t have to carry the financial burden of a college education.

It seems like the least we can do.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial.