Webb fights for G.I.s, against war

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Webb fights for G.I.s, against war

The new Weekly Standard has a piece on Virginia senator Jim Webb’s legislative attempt to escalate the educational benefits for G.I.s. Last year, Webb sponsored an amendment that would have given troops in Afghanistan and Iraq more "dwell time" in between deployments. With no draft, a small amount of families are having to absorb the brunt of fighting the so-called "war on terror."

While last year’s amendment failed though, this year’s effort seems to have broad support, including that of outgoing Virginia Senator John Warner. According to Webb’s site, the bill would provide
service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan up to 36 months of benefits, equivalent to four academic years.  Most significantly, it would match the costs of the most expensive in-state public school, and give a monthly stipend equivalent to housing costs in their area, plus a small stipend per semester for books.

Of course, proponents of the sustained conflict in the Middle East see Webb’s amendment as an attempt to attack the "surge" (which it likely is) and so have offered their own amendment, essentially a watered down version of Webb’s. Nevertheless, it is one that draws the support of the uber-conservative Weekly Standard: "This relatively minor legislative battle over whether and how the military should try to bring together Americans of different class backgrounds is really a major battle in the war over the war in Iraq."

Jim Webb wants our troops to go to college.

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