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Old 12-02-2023, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
6,303 posts, read 4,734,494 times
Reputation: 17877

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Pros:

2 college degrees on the GI Bill.

First house on a VA loan.

And now, in my old age, VA health care.

Cons:

Can't sleep past 5 AM.
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Old 12-02-2023, 08:51 AM
 
5,604 posts, read 3,445,211 times
Reputation: 16167
I don't see how anyone can claim that the GI Bill paid ALL their education expenses back in the late 60's through the 1970's. Here is a very informative article on the subject of what the VA paid in the form of Education Benefits. This is from an article published in 1972.

"An unmarried Vietnam‐era veteran—he does not have to have fought in Vietnam — is eligible for $175 a month if he studies full‐time, for 36 months, or for four nine‐month school years."

“There is no way a vet can go to college on the G.I. Bill today, unless he's got some money of his own,” said Frank IV. Votto, director of the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs."


https://www.nytimes.com/1972/04/09/a...bill-most.html

I received the VA Education Benefits in the late 60's and as I recall I received about $150 per month for EVERYTHING. There's no way that $150 per month was going to come anywhere close to covering "everything" even back in 1969.

Tuition and books used up a couple of months' worth of benefits. And the remainder barely paid for gasoline for my car to commute back and forth to campus about 12 miles from my home. There's NO WAY that I could have lived in a dorm on campus on that money or paid for an apartment near campus.

Basically, the G.I. Bill paid my tuition and gave me a little bit of spending money for the weekends. The cost of housing, utilities, food, clothes, and everything else was paid for by my parents plus what little I could earn from parttime jobs. Anyone who claims that the G.I. Bill paid for ALL of their education expenses is not remembering things correctly. While it MIGHT have paid for their tuition and books at a modest priced college, there's no way that it would have paid for EVERYTHING or anywhere close to that.
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Old 12-02-2023, 10:38 AM
 
Location: South of Cakalaki
5,656 posts, read 4,559,017 times
Reputation: 5066
Before the Army I was going nowhere at a million miles an hour. Totally changed my life for the better. Physical issues are part and parcel of being on tanks, but I wouldn't change it for anything.
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Old 12-02-2023, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,288 posts, read 13,573,474 times
Reputation: 18516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
I don't see how anyone can claim that the GI Bill paid ALL their education expenses back in the late 60's through the 1970's. Here is a very informative article on the subject of what the VA paid in the form of Education Benefits. This is from an article published in 1972.

"An unmarried Vietnam‐era veteran—he does not have to have fought in Vietnam — is eligible for $175 a month if he studies full‐time, for 36 months, or for four nine‐month school years."

“There is no way a vet can go to college on the G.I. Bill today, unless he's got some money of his own,” said Frank IV. Votto, director of the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs."


https://www.nytimes.com/1972/04/09/a...bill-most.html

I received the VA Education Benefits in the late 60's and as I recall I received about $150 per month for EVERYTHING. There's no way that $150 per month was going to come anywhere close to covering "everything" even back in 1969.

Tuition and books used up a couple of months' worth of benefits. And the remainder barely paid for gasoline for my car to commute back and forth to campus about 12 miles from my home. There's NO WAY that I could have lived in a dorm on campus on that money or paid for an apartment near campus.

Basically, the G.I. Bill paid my tuition and gave me a little bit of spending money for the weekends. The cost of housing, utilities, food, clothes, and everything else was paid for by my parents plus what little I could earn from parttime jobs. Anyone who claims that the G.I. Bill paid for ALL of their education expenses is not remembering things correctly. While it MIGHT have paid for their tuition and books at a modest priced college, there's no way that it would have paid for EVERYTHING or anywhere close to that.
But one should appreciate how things were different back then. My Father made us Texas residents in the Nixon Administration for at least one reason......Texas tuition was just FOUR dollars an hour.

Now, to the rest of it, I don't know but three things. First, calculate things before and after the start of the Energy Crisis, not just after. Secondly, there is an episode of Columbo, "Publish or Perish", 1974, where he is shocked that the chili and ice tea in an expensive place was $6. So back then, how much would it normally cost?

FINALLY, remember we are talking about Vets who if they learned properly in the military, they may have learned to pool their funds and have roomies. In the Cold War, I counseled troops to make the most out of their BAS by pooling, grocery shopping, and cooking. I taught them, as others might say, how to make out like a bandit with those funds.

WHICH, is a spring board to bring us back to the topic at hand. When I got out of the service and didn't have much money, my Father introduced me to beans for that is how the Army ate with not much money before WW II. Or, what's the number 1 spice to have in one's pantry? Tabasco sauce for it can make anything edible.

Being in the service, we often find ways to make do when we don't have what we wanted.
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Old 12-02-2023, 11:38 AM
 
19,629 posts, read 9,923,127 times
Reputation: 12980
Two years in the Army. Destroyed my marriage. My dad's business did not survive without me. Did learn how to shoot at other humans. Day I got out, threw all my Army stuff in a dumpster on my way out. As Reagan said years later, "the scariest words in the English language, I'm from the government and I came to help."
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Old 12-02-2023, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Honolulu/DMV Area/NYC
30,410 posts, read 17,805,561 times
Reputation: 34076
The military has been great for me. The pay has been great, the travel opportunities pretty solid (I will have spent about a month in Asia over the last six months for work, as an example), and I've gotten to live in some pretty neat places.
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Old 12-02-2023, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA USA
747 posts, read 472,961 times
Reputation: 1160
My army time set me up pretty good. Drafted in '68, they offered me Officer Candidate School. I declined because I had a good friend who went to OCS, and he was killed in 'Nam. They offered me another deal. Sign up for one more year, and get the school of your choice and you won't be humping an M16 in the jungle. I went for it. I wanted to be a photographer, but they said Pick from this list. Marine Engineering was on the list. I've always liked boats, so I picked that. Went to Thailand, stationed on an army tugboat. The work schedule gave me a lot of time off. Got a hooch in the 'vill with a live-in girlfriend. Stayed there for two years and had a blast. Good weather on the coast, good food, easy duty, lots of very pretty girls. Came home, got out of the army, went to college on the $220.00 a month, got a BA, met my wife, graduated, bought a house with the GI Bill, had two kids. Learned a trade, but after a few years, went to school for a certificate degree, and traded my blue collar for a white one. Had a string of boats and motorcycles, still riding today. Retired from that, and now living in TX close to family. I have stickers and license plate frames on my cars and bikes proclaiming my veteran status, which I am sure has kept me from getting speeding tickets on occasion. So all-in-all, I had a great time in the service, and am still in contact with a buddy I made while in Thailand. We've rode bikes all over and sailed my boat to Mexico when I lived in CA. Good times.
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Old 12-02-2023, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Idaho
6,320 posts, read 7,651,863 times
Reputation: 14013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
I don't see how anyone can claim that the GI Bill paid ALL their education expenses back in the late 60's through the 1970's...
Don't read anywhere in this thread where anyone claimed this. I do know that I would not have received my academic degrees without the GI Bill. It did not pay for all of it, but certainly made it possible to graduate without any student loans.

Back on topic . . . need to think a whole lot more before responding. Need to organize my thoughts. It is not a trivial question. My military service has certainly affected my life and outlook on life. More later...
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Old 12-02-2023, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Alaska
531 posts, read 435,604 times
Reputation: 2141
[quote=Monello;66133898]Did serving make a huge difference in your life? Was your time in uniform a net negative?

Retired now, grateful for my opportunities, definitely a net positive but... never quite stayed on the path I tried to plan.

Childhood TV news was always the endless Vietnam war and some worrying thoughts of being drafted when I got older.

1981 with 4 years of college done much to my parents displeasure I let go on music career/teaching possibilities and joined the Marines.

1st duty station Kaneohe Bay. Extended and selected for E-6. I was "the golden boy" of my Comm maintenance MOS.
I knew for sure I would stay in the Marines forever, retire and return to Hawaii!!! Parents here for extended visits! Married now.

1992 lowest point of my career-- injured in 1990 asked to medically retire but stayed in, slow recovery, all seemed good but soon found with a mediocre eval that I was considered a s**tbird, I tried to push back, soon came an adverse eval, little chance for promotion, pretty depressed. Luckily the drawdown in the 90s gave me an early out and I was able to cut my reenlistment short.

Back to school and pt work.

1998 tried to get in the Navy - nope, tried the AirForce- nope. Talked to an SFC Army recruiter- he grabbed an officer, drove to my house and pinned on my butter bars.

My High point -- 6 years after being dumped I was a 38yr old 2LT.

Retired to Alaska in 2013!
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Old 12-02-2023, 07:28 PM
 
5,847 posts, read 3,118,627 times
Reputation: 10524
The military was the best thing to ever happen to me. There is no question in my mind that the only reason I found success in life was because of the military.

You can come from nothing, work hard, and make something of yourself.

Without the military, I would’ve remained in the lower classes. As it is now, I’m middle class. Certainly not elite, but way above anything I had ever dreamed of.

Thats why I’m so conflicted now about service. On the one hand, I don’t like many of the current policies. But I’ve seen firsthand how military service can set you up for success.

If someone came up to me and said, Should I join up? I would still say yes, but with a bunch of caveats.
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