16 April, 2019 08:30

From our friend, Minneapolis Legionnaire and Department Adjutant, Randy Tesdahl;

First and foremost Thank you VA…You are making a difference.

However, I ask …..that the VA share also in this effort to celebrate the GI Bill…..The real origin and the story behind the GI Bill being drafted.…..And how the final vote went down.

If you ask the majority of those that use the GI Bill since 911 how it came about, they will tell you that It is the Army GI Bill or the National Guard GI Bill or the Airforce Collage Fund….Or that the VA created it to help veterans, which in your VA Video you add to that thought process of those using the GI Bill, by saying We; as though the VA created the GI Bill and made improvements on it over the years….

Then everyone asks……..Why are no veterans joining the VSOs??????

Because no one tells our Troops or our Veterans that it is the VSOs that pushed for the creation of the their benefits, care, and to assure a strong National Security. This is not a Criticism of The VA or DOD Just a request to share and to promote an awareness of the origin of the things that this generation of veterans has.

It was The American Legion that wrote the Original GI Bill

It was The American Legion that Lobbied for the Passage of the GI Bill

It was The American Legion that sent someone to speak with a Senator at his home, that was Ill and was a critical vote on the GI Bill

It was The American Legion that flew that Senator to DC to Make the Vote.

It was The American Legion that lobbied for increases in the GI Bill when it had dwindled to the state of the Vietnam Era, then the VEEP, and Montgomery GI Bill.

It IS The American Legion’s original drafter that the newest version is named after, a GI Bill that now expands to family members and makes it a lifetime benefit for some.

I and many feel strongly, that without VSOs there would not be a VA nor will it remain strong and vibrant without the VSOs as a support system.

It was The American Legion that lead the efforts to create the original VB that went onto become the VA.

It is the VSOs that pushed for the creation of Severely Disabled Insurance …Many Vietnam Amputees could have used those funds.

It is the VSOs that constantly push for improvements in the VA….We are your strongest supporters and can be your harshest critics…. but in the end it is all for the betterment of services to our veterans.

It was the VSOs that pushed for continued annual funding of the VA so it doesn’t end up unfunded in years with budget disputes by politicians.

It is the VSOs that Push for increased funding of the VA….More facilities, more Drs., Nurses, Better equipment………Better record keeping……More Salary budget to pay expensive Medical Specialists to work in the VA in remote areas of the country.

It’s the VSOs that come to the table to provide our lawmakers information from the ground level on how to best provide healthcare to veterans all across the nation in rural areas.

It is the VSOs that pushed for treatment to those exposed to the Herbicide Agent Orange….and The Gulf War syndrome, Burn Pits and atomic exposure, polluted drinking waters at military installations.

It is the VSOs that push to assure that PTSD and TBIs are continually researched and studied so as to provide the very best care to our veterans.

It is the VSOs that pushed to increase the VET Centers for Mental Healthcare to veterans in our local communities.

It is the VSOs that push to assure that those with impending bad discharges receive the most comprehensive medical reviews before sending them out that their issues that caused the impending bad discharge are not related to their military service. And If they are related to their service that they receive the appropriate care and the Appropriate discharge or retirement review.

It is the VSOs that push for the improvements in the VA as in the VA Accountability Act…

It is the VSOs that save the VA and Federal Govt. millions of dollars every year thru donations and volunteers hours in VA facilities all across the Nation.

It is the VSOs that push for expansion of benefits offered thru the VA in relation to Service Connected injuries and ailments and the funding to support them.

It is the VSOs that fight for the VA to streamline its claims process and to be sure they get the funds to hire the needed Manpower to do so.

It is the VSOs the fought for better reintegration of those returning from war….Improvements in TAP and the creation of Beyond The Yellow Ribbon programs as well as Family Assistance Centers, and Outreach programs. All are ways to help find those veterans and troops in need of VA services.

It is the VSOs that push for Veterans Employment and Training programs…..

It is the VSOs that push for Licensure and certification credit from your military service be applied to civilian credentialing.

It is the VSOs that assure that there are networks of Veteran Service OFFICERS to help veterans free of change with their claims and benefits.

It is the VSOs that provide transportation for veterans to and from their appointments at VA facilities….

It is the VSOs that make sure that collages don’t abuse Their GI Bill funding by requiring veterans to take unneeded classes that could be accredited by military training or experience, by pushing for legislation to protect the GI Bill.

Would the VA have the means to continue on, if all of the volunteer drivers, wheel chair pushers, runner, helpers, and financial donations all of a sudden were to stop today?

Today’s troops nor most veterans know the real origin of their benefits and the driving force behind getting and maintaining a strong national defense…..…and the VA, and DOD seem to be comfortable in not telling anyone…..

Do we just wait until the VSOs have no members…No one to volunteer at the VA…No one to assure veterans benefits are protected and expanded to keep up with technology and the cost of living…No VSOs to lobby congress to fully fund VA to fully staff the needed claims professionals to do the VAs work. …..

Back to the GI Bill……………..VA please tell the entire story…….The services the VA provides and oversees, in MOST cases are NOT created BY THE VA.

Want to help more people join the VSOs? (Which in turn will help the VA)………Tell them where their Veterans VA benefits really come from……AND LETS START TELLING THE TROOPS………….Who lobbies congress to take care of DOD for good pay, equipment , manning levels, weapons, better body armor, keeping Bases Open and improving training facilities?…….. THE VSOs

It seems to me that both VA and DOD would benefit greatly if they helped tell those in receipt of the benefits and improvements where they come from. ..

VA and DOD……Please tell “The Rest Of The Story”.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs [mailto:veteransaffairs]
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2019 10:33 AM
To: rtesdahl
Subject: VA invites Veterans to tell their GI Bill stories in celebration of bills 75th anniversary

Media Advisory

VA invites Veterans to tell their GI Bill stories in celebration of bill’s 75th anniversary

WHAT: June 2019 marks the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) 75th Anniversary of the GI Bill,which established education benefits, affordable home loans and expanded access to medical care for Veterans. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, known as the GI Bill, was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944.

Since 1944, VA has:

  • Paid about $400 billion in education benefits to 25 million beneficiaries.
  • Guaranteed more than 24 million home loans.

WHO: To celebrate this milestone, Veterans from all generations — World War II to the Post-9/11 era and other GI Bill beneficiaries — are invited to share a video telling their personal stories. The submission instructions are simple for uploading.

WHEN AND WHERE: Veterans may submit videos up to June 22. Some may appear on VA’s websiteand could be featured on VA’s social media channels.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please inform Veterans in your community about the “My GI Bill Story” video project. You may also consider developing stories of how the GI Bill impacted communities through education benefits to Veterans or contributed to increased homeownership.