Post 9/11 GI Bill poses challenges for vets

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Bureaucracy is often as annoying as finger nails scraping against a chalkboard.

Ideally the bureaucratic system is designed to prevent malicious laws from being created in a fastidious manner that would inhibit and limit an individual’s civil rights.

More often than not however, the bureaucratic system is used to prevent or circumvent a person’s interest in areas that are sensitive or to maintain a slow and fluid system of governing.

Veterans Affairs (VA) is one such bureaucratic system that works toward helping citizens, who were part of the Armed Forces of the United States, transition out of the military.
The VA offers many different programs to veterans, one is the GI Bill for veterans who wish to go to college or receive some form of technical training.

The most notorious of these bills, is the Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill. For most administrators this bill causes a miasma of grandiose headaches that leave them wondering at the reasoning behind such a complicated bill.

Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Hallberg’s military career ended when a roadside bomb exploded next to his HMMWV (Humvee) in Iraq. Now he battles the bureaucracy of the Pentagon to get the benefits he deserves.
Photo courtesy of

The eligibility criteria for the bill, what they get while using the bill, and figuring out what the veteran owes if they should fail a course or courses creates a great deal of paperwork for an understaffed and underequipped bureaucracy.

Whose fault then is it when these governmental agencies are slow to respond to the people’s needs? The people would say it is the government’s fault, while others will blame their fellow citizens for being lazy and not wanting to work.

The fault lies in poor long-term planning.

Morris, a Russian man saves his rubles for twenty years to buy a new car. After choosing the model and options he wants, he’s not the least bit surprised or even concerned to learn that it will take two years for the new car to be delivered. He thanks the salesman and starts to leave, but as he reaches the door he pauses and turns back to the salesman “Do you know which week two years from now the new car will arrive?” he asks.
The salesman checks his notes and tells Morris that it will be two years to the exact week. The man thanks the salesman and starts out again, but upon reaching the door, he turns back again.
“Could you possibly tell me what day of the week two years from now the car will arrive?”
The salesman, mildly annoyed, checks his notes again and says that it will be exactly two years from this week, on Thursday.
Morris thanks the salesman and once again starts to leave. Halfway though the door, he hesitates, turns back, and walks up to the salesman.
“I’m sorry to be so much trouble, but do you know if that will be two years from now on Thursday in the morning, or in the afternoon?”
Visibly irritated, the salesman flips through his papers yet another time and says sharply that it will be in the afternoon, two years from now on Thursday.
“That’s a relief!” says Morris. “The plumber is coming that morning.”

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged Bureaucracy, Chapter 33, HMMWV, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Staff Sergeant Ryan Hallberg, VA

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