Forever "GI" bill allows veterans to receive educational benefits with no time limit

Posted at 8:02 AM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 21:08:56-04

UPDATE-- Forever GI Bill now headed to President Trump's desk to become law. 


Advocates of a proposed bill benefiting millions of veterans are concerned it could be stalled in the senate before senators leave Washington for a recess next Friday. 


Robert Enger is a Navy veteran in his second year at Bakersfield College, and is one of the millions of veterans benefiting from the potential passage of the forever "GI" bill.


"My "GI" bill will run out and the last couple years before I transfer, so I will have to do student loans", said Enger.


The forever "GI" bill would eliminate the 15-year expiration date for educational benefits and increase support for veterans studying in the stem field.


"It will extend the benefits for stem majors up to one academic year which is indicative of the federal government recognizing we need stem majors and this is a way we can help veterans get those degrees so they can enter the workforce", said Paul Beckworth, veteran faculty lead at Bakersfield College.


Bakersfield congressman Kevin McCarthy was instrumental in pushing for a vet tech program in the bill. The five-year program will help pay for high tech courses. 


The forever "GI" bill will also provide 30 million dollars to upgrade technology at the V.A. to help process "GI" paperwork.


Enger is one of nearly 500 veterans using educational military benefits at Bakersfield College.


"Our goal is to get them to their educational goal whether it's a certificate, whether its to get B.A. at CSUB", said Beckworth.


Beckworth tells us the center is unique with veterans helping veterans….


"Thanks to the voters of Kern County we passed measure J, which then allows us to build a stand-alone veteran resource center", said Beckworth.


The forever "GI " bill passed with a unanimous vote in the house but advocates say a clear answer on whether a senate vote will be scheduled before senators leave Washington next week is still unclear.