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Share your GI Bill story by submitting a video, now through June 22, 2019.

Whether your story involves getting an education, buying a house, or other VA benefits that impacted your life, we want to hear from you! Your story may appear on our YouTube playlist, highlighted on this page, or other VA materials. We'll be featuring "My GI Bill Story" videos as VA celebrates this important milestone. Submitting your video grants permission for VA to publish your story. No personal information, other than your name, will be shared with the public. #mygibillstory

Since 1944 the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill, has impacted the lives of millions of Veterans and their families. The law provided a wide range of benefits to Veterans returning from World War II, including low-cost home loans, education and vocational training, unemployment payments, and an expansion of Veterans' health care. As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the GI Bill, we will tell the story of how this legislation has impacted Veterans and their families for generations.

Key Events In History

The original GI Bill has long been considered an enormous success — by historians, politicians and economists — for its impact on the post-war economy following World War II and capital investment in our "Greatest Generation." The bill is widely credited with being a key contributor in establishing the American middle class, expanding access to education, helping Veterans transition from military to civilian life.

  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the GI Bill on June 22, 1944.
  • Don A. Balfour was the first student to receive GI Bill education benefits. He used those benefits to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
  • Miles Myers was the first recipient of a VA home loan. Myers was a Captain in World War II and after the war was a civil service employee on President Roosevelt’s staff. Captain Myers is buried in Arlington Cemetery.
Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the GI Bill

Key GI Bill Milestones

WWII Vets signing up for benefits

About half of the 16 million WWII Veterans used their GI Bill education benefit. The program was heralded as a success and a major contributor to stabilizing the post war economy and America's long-term economic growth.

First GI Bill property

Nearly 24 million homes have been purchased by Veterans using VA guaranteed loans since this first property was purchased in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Tomah VAMC

The GI Bill either transferred from the Department of Defense or provided funding for 101 VA hospitals. This greatly expanded health care availability for Veterans. Tomah VA hospital shown above was transferred from the U.S. Army.

 

Education Benefits

From the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, VA offers a robust variety of education and training benefits to meet a wide range of education goals.

  • Includes certificate programs, vocational and technical programs, on-the-job training, apprenticeship, correspondence, post-secondary degrees and work-study programs.
  • Since 1944, VA has paid about $400 Billion in education benefits to 25 million beneficiaries.
  • VA education and training benefits are a key resource for Veterans transitioning from military service to the civilian workforce.
75 Years. $400 Billion. 25 Million Beneficiaries

VA is working with schools, higher education organizations and other partners to ensure beneficiaries have all the information they need to best utilize their VA education benefits.

  • Many educational institutions have agreed to the "Principles of Excellence," which offer guidelines that promote transparency and student success.
  • VA's VetSuccess on Campus program places experienced vocational rehabilitation counselors to assist students in accessing their VA benefits. VetSuccess celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2019.
  • Education and vocational counseling and new online tools on the GI Bill website are helping Veterans learn more about their vocational aptitudes and selecting an education institution and training program that are right for them.
Principles of Excellence. VetSuccess on Campus

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits

VA provides employment and job-placement assistance to service-disabled Veterans and transitioning Servicemembers, including career counseling, training, and services leading toward enhanced independence in daily living.

  • In Fiscal 2018, there were over 120,000 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment participants.
  • More than 15,000 Veterans achieved positive outcomes in the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program in Fiscal 2018 — a 3% improvement from the previous year.
  • VA rehabilitated 12,126 Veterans in Fiscal 2018.
3% Increase in positive outcomes. 120,000 participants.

Home Loan Benefits

VA’s housing-related benefits and programs help beneficiaries buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt their home.

  • The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program is the only provision of the original GI Bill that is still in force and unchanged. Nearly 24 million home loans have been guaranteed by VA since 1944. In Fiscal 2018, VA guaranteed 610,000 home loans totaling $161 billion, while also helping 105,000 Veterans avoid foreclosure, and saving taxpayers more than $2.24 billion.
  • Nearly 82% of all VA loans are made with no down payment.
  • VA also provides grants to help seriously disabled Veterans purchase, modify, or construct a home to meet their adaptive housing needs. In Fiscal 2018, VA provided 2,000 grants worth $104 million.
24 Million home loans. 82% with no down payment.

Health Care Benefits

The law either transferred from the Army and Navy or provided funding for 101 VA hospitals.

  • The GI Bill greatly expanded health care resources for Veterans.
  • In April 2018, Veterans Health Administration applied for historical status for those 101 hospitals and the application is pending.
101 Hospitals. Expanded resources.