Going to War and Going to College: Conclusion

Going to War and Going to College: ConclusionFor World War II veterans, all education and training under the G.I. Bill needed to be commenced by July 25, 1951 and completed by July 25, 1956 (Public Law 80-239), with additional extensions for those reenlisting under the October 6, 1945 law. Public Law 79-190, passed at this time reopened the military to voluntary enlistment, after a period in which enlistment was largely prohibited. The prohibition of voluntary enlistment most directly affected men covered by the second phase of the sixth registration (those born between January 1, 1925 and March 31, 1929).
From the start of the Korean conflict, legislators moved to provide educational benefits to those who served. Olson notes that within two weeks after the start of the start of the conflict (June 27, 1950) Representative Rankin, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, started the process of crafting a package of education benefits for Korean veterans. When passed as Public Law 550, titled the “Veterans Readjustment Act of 1952,” the Korean G.I. Bill provided benefits to those serving more than 90 days with honorable after June 27, 1950 and before February 1, 1955. The structure of the benefits differed from those provided to World War II veterans with a larger monthly stipend amount in place of the combined tuition waiver and stipend package. Accusations of fraud surfacing in Congressional hearings on the response of colleges and other institutions to the World War II G.I. program were one reason for the elimination of the tuition benefits.
For Vietnam era veterans, educational benefits were put into place at the start of the war, with the approval of Public Law 358 on March 3, 1966 (“Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act of 1966”). In addition to education benefits, veterans were also made eligible for home and farm loans, job counseling, and employment placement. Note that these benefits were also retroactive, providing educational benefits to those post-Korean veterans serving between February 1 1955 and August 6, 1964, as well as those serving in Vietnam from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975.