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Old 12-02-2023, 11:16 PM
 
Location: PNW
7,195 posts, read 3,018,883 times
Reputation: 10279

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Welp, I had some issues with the military with the onboarding process that I will not go into. It's a long story. 1980.

I would say it did not help me occupationally. I developed more physical, psychological and emotional strength and stamina. It was better than the starter jobs you can typically get without a college degree. I went back and got a BS in Biz. Thankfully I was a runner before I joined.

Used that VA loan guarantee and enjoy a lot of 10% discounts at a lot of places. ID me.
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Old 12-05-2023, 03:51 PM
 
12,047 posts, read 10,176,255 times
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I loved it. Spent over 20 years in the AF. Retired, went to the VA to be evaluated for the different physical conditions I had.

Between that and having purchased a home and paid it off while active - I did not have to work after that.
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Old 12-05-2023, 03:53 PM
 
12,047 posts, read 10,176,255 times
Reputation: 24772
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.
It has changed since then. You get a stipend based on what a ssgt would get if they lived where they school is located. Think the one where I went is now up to 1800 a month.
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Old 12-11-2023, 02:49 PM
 
Location: NH
4,179 posts, read 3,706,387 times
Reputation: 6686
It was the best thing I ever did; friends I made are more like family, the experience I received set me up for my future and the networking that occurred is how I landed in the career I am in today. It taught me discipline and integrity. Showed me the world beyond my little town and opened my eyes to a lot of things. It not only paid for my degree but also have so many other perks now like VA loans and discounts. And of course, the stories I now have are worth it alone.
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Old 12-11-2023, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Alaska
532 posts, read 438,108 times
Reputation: 2146
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.
A lot of my career was not this lucky but I went from the worst GI bill to probably the best version.

1981: I had the crappy replacement version of the GI bill called VEAP (veterans education assistance program). It required a contribution of up to $2700 which could be payed by allotment. Then the payback came in a 2 to 1 match. I remember I started it then soon cancelled and used my money to take classes while on active duty which at that time were 90% convered under active duty TAP (tuition assistance program) later dropped to 75%.

Unfortunately ended up getting out in the 90s and started back to college paying on my own. I was sent notification that I was eligible retroactively for the newer Montgomery GI Bill. Also required a contribution but now $1200. So I wrote a check for 1200 and started to recieve checks for 400/mo. They also retroactively paid back to the beggining of my degree program. Public college in NC was cheap, well under 1000 for a semester. So inexpensive I actually took a try (unsuccesfully) for medical school. Mortgage was 550/mo and I sold my brand new pickup bought 2 yrs ago at reenlistment for a 3cyl Geo Metro for my school commute.

I went back in as an officer in 1998 (the year of my daughter's birth). I had 7 mos left on my GI Bill. After 9/11 that automatically changed to the post 9/11 GI which added 12 mos more. Before retirement I ended up transferring those 19 mos to my daughter. When she used it she had an Alaskan resident honors scholarship and the GI paying Alaska housing at an E-5 rate even though she lived in our house. The first couple years of college turned a profit. I invested it and paid it back to her.

other stuff:
at separation in 1992 I received 29k for early out, would have been more but they recouped the paid part of my reenlistment bonus. In 2015 I started receiving concurrent disability and from that they recouped the 29k that I was payed from my early out in 1992.
I was 1st retiring in 2009 but my command allowed me to rescind that and stay in for cancer treatment. For that tretament I was allowed to pick civilian over military and travel from Alaska to Loma Linda CA. They payed for me to rent an apt, food and travel for 3 mos treatment and followups. However during treatment my retirement went through anyway and all pay was stopped. Got it restarted eventually with about 25k in back payment.
That retirement glitch came back to haunt me in 2013 when I really retired. Took me 6 months and a congressional inquiry to get my reirement pay going.
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Old 12-11-2023, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
37,218 posts, read 60,940,482 times
Reputation: 30088
In 1983, I got out after 6 years. I had the VN version of GI bill. It paid for all of my college tuition and fees.

Full-time status was 12 units, after my first semester I got permission to carry 18 units each semester.

I also had a job on-campus working for the Veterans office for 10 hours a week, and a job working as a tutor in the campus library for 10 hours a week. Then I had a 40-hour job on the side.

I stayed in college until 1987 when I re-enlisted.
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Old 12-12-2023, 05:08 PM
 
1,845 posts, read 3,693,390 times
Reputation: 2474
I was an AF Brat, went in reserves, and worked there while going to school and using the GI bill, so it was a job with great benefits.

My husband went in as a 17 yr old who basically almost flunked HS because he moved 12 times from the age of 10-17 and his dad wasn't in the military—just made a ton of bad decisions.

DH did 4 years, saved some money, got a camero, and went happily home to what??? He hated factory work, so he thought why not school? He got into Ohio State as a 22-year-old freshman. Midway through his 1st year his engineering professor asked if anyone wanted an ROTC scholarship, and he shot his hand up. He was living on peanut butter and the military was a known entity. Graduates with an engineering degree AND a job. A year later gets offered a chance for a Masters in engineering at AFIT and signs up, another degree paid for.

Fast forward 33 years and we have traveled the world, worked at amazing places, with amazing people, doing amazing things.

He went from a nearly illiterate (seriously, dude never read a damn book) 17-year-old to having 2 degrees and retired as a Colonel. Not many places would have given him that opportunity. His two brothers did factory work, and are both broken shells due to the hard work.

We are now using his Post 9-11 GI Bill to put my daughter through college, with zero cost to us.

So 4 degrees in total between us. A sizable pension and medical care for life!

So definitely a great deal - even with deployments and TDYs etc.
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Old 12-12-2023, 06:34 PM
 
5,660 posts, read 3,493,618 times
Reputation: 16320
Quote:
Originally Posted by slduvall View Post
I was an AF Brat, went in reserves, and worked there while going to school and using the GI bill, so it was a job with great benefits.

My husband went in as a 17 yr old who basically almost flunked HS because he moved 12 times from the age of 10-17 and his dad wasn't in the military—just made a ton of bad decisions.

DH did 4 years, saved some money, got a camero, and went happily home to what??? He hated factory work, so he thought why not school? He got into Ohio State as a 22-year-old freshman. Midway through his 1st year his engineering professor asked if anyone wanted an ROTC scholarship, and he shot his hand up. He was living on peanut butter and the military was a known entity. Graduates with an engineering degree AND a job. A year later gets offered a chance for a Masters in engineering at AFIT and signs up, another degree paid for.

Fast forward 33 years and we have traveled the world, worked at amazing places, with amazing people, doing amazing things.

He went from a nearly illiterate (seriously, dude never read a damn book) 17-year-old to having 2 degrees and retired as a Colonel. Not many places would have given him that opportunity. His two brothers did factory work, and are both broken shells due to the hard work.

We are now using his Post 9-11 GI Bill to put my daughter through college, with zero cost to us.

So 4 degrees in total between us. A sizable pension and medical care for life!

So definitely a great deal - even with deployments and TDYs etc.
That's quite an accomplishment for someone who is "nearly illiterate" coming out of high school. When I graduated high school, I had had 3 years of Algebra, Trigonometry, Plane Geometry, Solid Geometry, Physics, Chemistry, and several other tough classes that I don't recall, and yet I still had to work my ass off to get an engineering degree.

I suppose that this shows that timing and situational opportunities can make a world of difference in what two different people experience. Good for you and him for taking advantage of the opportunities.
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Old 12-13-2023, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg VA
764 posts, read 1,033,856 times
Reputation: 1215
Negatives:

Six surgeries:

Left knee: 2 meniscus, total knee replacement, and total knee replacement revision surgery.
Back: spinal fusion from L5 - S1.
Left shoulder

Positives:

Got to take my family with me to Germany for 6 1/2 years. Traveled all over Europe.
Served 22 years so have a decent pension.
Healthcare isn't bad between Tricare and the VA and our costs are way less than the average civilian pays.
Also because of the negatives I'm 100% P&T so I get I nice chunk of tax free cash every month, along with various State benefits like no sales and use tax on one vehicle and property tax exemption.
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Old 12-13-2023, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
6,539 posts, read 6,984,568 times
Reputation: 9242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monello View Post
Did serving make a huge difference in your life? Was your time in uniform a net negative?

When I was in, I met a lot of people that came from humble backgrounds. Going in the service provided them with training and a paycheck. It enabled them to achieve a level of success that they felt would have been unobtainable had they never left home.

Conversely, many folks joined up and it turned out to be a disaster for a multitude of reasons.

Uniformed service, it's not for everyone.
It got me off the streets of a small city in Maine, given a direction and a purpose. I found my better half and I had a good long career.
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