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Women Veterans Rock

vet of the day

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the appointment of a new chairwoman and four new members to the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, an expert panel that advises the VA Secretary on issues and programs of importance to women Veterans, their families and caregivers.

“As VA continues to work toward modernization, the committee’s guidance will assist the department in meeting the important and evolving needs of women Veterans,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The new chairwoman and new appointees’ deep and broad perspectives are invaluable in anticipating these needs.”

Established in 1983, the committee provides policy and legislative recommendations to the Secretary.

Current member Octavia Harris, a retired U.S. Navy command master chief petty officer from San Antonio, Texas, is appointed as the new chairwoman of the committee.  The following are new members of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans:

  • Moses McIntosh, of Hephzibah, Georgia, is a retired U.S. Army chief warrant officer and immediate past national commander of the Disabled American Veterans, where he served as the official spokesman and provided leadership to the National Executive Committee.
  • Yareli Mendoza, of Iowa City, Iowa, is a U.S. Air Force Veteran. She is pursuing a doctorate of philosophy degree in higher education and student affairs, with a specialization in higher education administration and policy.
  • Keronica Richardson, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a U.S. Army Veteran with deployments in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. She serves as the assistant director for Women and Minority Veterans Outreach at the American Legion.
  • Wanda Wright, of Tempe, Arizona, is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, currently serving as the director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, where she is a state cabinet member, providing leadership and direction for administering benefits and services to Veterans and their dependents.

In addition, committee members Dr. Kailyn Bobb, a U.S. Air Force Veteran, from Plumas Lake, California, and Commander Janet West, of the U.S. Navy, are reappointed for an additional term.

For information about VA’s benefits and services for women Veterans, visit www.va.gov/womenvet or contact the Women Veterans Call Center at 855-829-6636.  The call center is available to address concerns of women Veterans, their families and caregivers from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST), and Saturday, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (EST).

Military Connection: The Gift of Education

GI Bill Students

 

By Debbie Gregory.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to those who serve and their families is the gift of education. As a way of making it easier for Veterans and their families to use their GI Bill benefits where they choose, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) announced all Veterans and dependents using USDVA’s GI Bill benefits shall receive temporary in-state tuition status through the end of the year, regardless of their state of residence. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has used his authority to waive the provisions of Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act). This action will ensure all GI Bill students are able to continue training at their chosen institutions.

“Our military members and their families make sacrifices that require them to pack up and move with little notice,” said Bob McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  “They shouldn’t be penalized after they leave military service by burdensome residency requirements.  This waiver will allow students to continue receiving the GI Bill benefits they’ve earned as states work to comply with this important law.”

The states that are currently in compliance, meaning that covered individuals using the Post-9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty benefits at public institutions of higher learning will be charged the resident rate for tuition and fees are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The states/territories that intend to comply, meaning that they are undergoing an internal review process with support from the State Approving Agency and VA are: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands, and Washington.

According to Keith Boylan, CalVet’s Deputy Secretary for Veterans Services, “Students using GI Bill benefits in California are able to continue training at their chosen institutions and receive in-state tuition status.” Boylan went on to say, “CalVet thanks USDVA for taking the initiative for our Veterans and dependents using the GI Bill.”

USDVA’s policy impacts Veterans and dependents who enroll in an institution within three years of the Veteran’s qualifying discharge. The new rule was issued as a waiver under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast Guard,Guard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: The Gift of Education: By Debbie Gregory