Patriotic Service. Patriotic Act. Use Your Education Benefits!

 Words by Charles N. Lewis Jr. Owner/Agent VIE Realty Group, LLC. USN PH3 Combat Photographer Vietnam


The act of serving your country is a Patriotic one and one that is reward with benefits designed to ensure that veterans have a solid foundation for their future. Every veteran since the end of World War II has earned the benefits provided in the GI Bill of Education and Home Loan Guarantees from the VA. The original bill Servicemen’s readjustment Act signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944 had a contentious birth with vigorous debate in the House and Senate over its provisions. The intent was to avoid the mistakes made after World War I and the Great Depression that saw veterans have difficulty making a living while waiting for their payments from the World War Adjustment Act of 1924 also known as the Bonus Act. Veterans marched on Washington demanding payment and were forced out of town.

The millions of veterans returning from World War II would have flooded the job market but many took advantage of their educational benefit and entered college. In 1947 veterans accounted for 49% of all attending colleges and universities. The original GI Bill ended in 1956 having backed over 7.8 million education benefits and 2.4 million Home Loan guarantees for veterans. The GI Bill continuous to evolve in 1984 it was renamed the Montgomery GI Bill after former Congressmen Gillespie V. Montgomery who revamped the bill maintain its legacy. It was adjusted again in 2008 providing veterans with active duty service on, or after, September 11, 2001 enhanced educational benefits that cover more educational expenses, provide a living allowance, money for books and the ability to transfer unused educational benefits to spouses or children.

The Veterans Home Loan benefit is a government backed guarantee provided to lenders on home loans to veterans. The eligibility varies depending on the branch of service, dates of service, and type of discharge, or active duty; all branches are eligible. The maximum entitlement amount varies by state and county, for Michigan where I live it is $417,000. Veterans aren't required to make a down payment and have other advantages the average buyer doesn't.    

The impact provided from veterans use of their Education and Home Loan Benefits stimulates the economy, energizes the society, and jolts our political system. As veterans complete their education, find employment, start businesses, and buy Homes the economy grows and expands for all. It is the second most patriotic act anyone can do besides their service.

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