Today we joined Dr. Jill Biden, 2nd Lady of the United States to celebrate the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit and recognize the significant impact it’s had in helping Servicemembers, Veterans and their families get a quality education and good jobs. Dr. Biden is a lifelong educator and proud Blue Star mom. She currently teaches full time at a community college in Virginia and is a champion for military families, including through her work with First Lady Michelle Obama and Joining Forces.
We also congratulated the 1 millionth beneficiary of this landmark program, who is a great representative of the Post-9/11 Veteran generation; which has sacrificed so much for our country. This GI Bill program is just one small way our nation can say “thank you” to these men and women for their service.
We are happy to announce that the one millionth Post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiary is…. (drumroll) …… Steven Ferraro! He is a student at Middlesex County College, a public community college in Edison, New Jersey. An Army Veteran, Mr. Ferraro served from 2003 – 2013 and deployed to Iraq in 2008. He is the father of three and a full-time student at Middlesex County College.
Thanks to our committed partners — State Approving Agencies, School Certifying Officials, Veterans Service Organizations like Student Veterans of America; and of course, the more than 10,000 colleges, universities, trade schools and all other educational institutions that participate in the program — VA has distributed more than $34 billion in tuition and benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill to 1 million beneficiaries since the program began in August 2009.
We can’t wait to meet the 2 millionth beneficiary very soon.
Allison A. Hickey is Under Secretary for Benefits for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs