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Senator James Beach addresses the Legislature.

A resolution sponsored by Senators Jim Beach and Jim Whelan that would bring awareness to veterans’ benefits provided under the federal GI Bill such as college tuition assistance was signed into law today.

“The brave men and women who have served in our armed forces deserve our honor and respect. We work to show our appreciation through a commitment of benefits such as educational opportunities, quality health care or assistance in transitioning into the workforce,” said SenatorBeach, D-Camden and Gloucester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. “By designating a week-long period each year as ‘Veterans’ Education Awareness Week,’ we can help to maximize their education benefits by making them aware of the tuition assistance that they have earned.”

“The Post 9-11 GI Bill is a small gesture of thanks to the men and women who stand up for our country’s freedom and security by serving in our Armed Forces,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “Unfortunately, many service members are not aware of the benefits available to them and how they can go about receiving them. Through this awareness week, we can help veterans transition from soldier to student.”

The resolution, SJR-41, would designate the second full week in November of each year as “Veterans’ Education Awareness Week” to raise awareness of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans.

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, otherwise known as the Post 9/11 GI Bill, provides financial assistance to veterans and active duty National Guard and reserve members to help reduce the cost of attending college. According to a survey conducted by the American Council on Education on the first year the GI Bill was in effect, 38 percent of respondents reported having difficulties understanding their benefits and choosing the best educational benefits for their needs.  The Senators note that with this awareness week, hopefully more veterans will take advantage of the benefits they have earned.

The first GI Bill was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt during WWII and provided an estimated 7.8 million service members with the opportunity to attend college.

The 2015 Veterans’ Education Awareness Week will begin on November 8.