Building a Legacy


Picture of Roosevelt signing GI Bill.

House authors Edith Nourse Rodgers of Massachusetts and John Rankin of Mississippi look on as President Roosevelt signs legislation popularly known as the "GI Bill of Rights."

Picture of The original drafts of the WWII "GI Bill".

The original drafts of the WWII "GI Bill" written in 1944 by Mr. Harry Colmery of The American Legion are preserved under glass.


World War II "GI Bill"

The original World War II "GI Bill" exceeded all expectations and had enormous benefits beyond the immediate ones given to deserving war veterans. College enrollment grew dramatically: in 1947, GI Bill enrollees accounted for almost half of the total college population.  Following the war, more than 2 million veterans went to college using GI Bill educational benefits.  The result was an American workforce enriched by 450,000 engineers, 238,000 teachers, 91,000 scientists, 67,000 doctors, 22,000 dentists and another million college-educated men and women.  Since 1944 more than 21 million veterans and dependents have participated in GI Bill education and training programs.

Original GI Bill benefits also included loans for buying a home, farm or business, and job-finding assistance.  VA's home loan program, for example, is largely credited with creating the suburbs in America.  Since 1944 more than 16 million veterans have purchased homes with help from VA.  The Subcommittee has continually authored legislation to refine and update these kinds of benefits for our All-Volunteer Force.


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