Before I was elected to Congress, I co-hosted a morning talk show on KWTO in Springfield, Missouri. We had a frequent caller named Ruth who enjoyed telling us stories of her time serving our country during WWII. Ruth was always upbeat, friendly and one of my favorite callers to listen to. Each time she called it reminded me again of the sacrifices made by our veterans.
This Veterans Day is yet another reminder of those sacrifices made by the men and women who served in our military. President Trump ran on the promise of ensuring our veterans have the skills and resources they need before returning to the workforce. During the 115th Congress, my colleagues and I have worked hard to make sure this promise becomes a reality. Over the past two years, President Trump has signed several bills into law that addresses this issue ranging from ensuring veterans never lose their G.I. benefits to offering career-related programs that allow them to use their benefits for on-the-job training and apprenticeships.
Some of those bills include the Forever G.I. Bill, the VALOR Act and the HIRE Vets Act. Both the VALOR Act and HIRE Vets Act target businesses by incentivizing them to increase and continue their outreach recruiting, hiring and training veterans. The Forever G.I. Bill, on the other hand, provides veterans with additional resources through the G.I. Bill.
Previously, the G.I. Bill expired after 10 years, leaving some veterans behind who wanted to go to college. The Forever G.I. Bill finally allows veterans to use their G.I. benefits at any point during their lifetime as well as their spouses and dependents. This bill also expands the benefits of the G.I. Bill to cover distant learning courses and technical and career educational schools. It also increases funding for veterans working towards careers in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
Similar to the Forever G.I. Bill, both the VALOR Act and the HIRE Vets Act aim to help veterans in the workforce, but target businesses instead. Both of these bills eliminate unnecessary paperwork for businesses and offer incentives to companies who recruit, hire and train veterans. Under the previous system, businesses were required to fill out excessive paperwork, which in turn discouraged many companies from even offering apprenticeships to veterans. Now, thanks to these bills, businesses will be more encouraged to participate, which will lead to veterans being represented in more industries.
These three bills are just a glimpse of the hard work Congress has done to ensure our veterans are taken care of after they return home. The skills these men and women learn while serving are invaluable and should not be overlooked. We need to continue to ensure they have the resources they need to make the transition into civilian life as easy as possible.