April 12, 2017

Kaine Joins Bill To Give Purple Heart Recipients Full Post-9/11 Bill Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, along with Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has introduced legislation to grant Purple Heart recipients full Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also includes a provision to make Purple Heart recipients eligible to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is an optional program for universities to provide additional funding to veterans if their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits do not fully cover education costs. The VA is required to match the universities’ contributions.

“Investing in veterans is not only the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. Veterans are graduating at higher rates with higher GPAs and competitive degrees. We need to continue improving veterans’ educational experience to prepare them for success in the civilian workforce and ensure that especially all those who have been wounded in action have access to the GI Bill. This legislation would make commonsense improvements, and I’m proud to support it,” Kaine said.

Veterans who served on active duty for 36 months or were medically discharged after at least 30 continuous days on active duty are eligible for full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Currently, a servicemember may be wounded in combat, earning a Purple Heart but not be medically retired or having completed 36 months of months of active duty, excluding them from full Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

A similar bill was originally introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) and passed out of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on March 8, 2017.