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Member's Press Release

Release Date: 12/03/2009
Contact: Delegate David Walker, (304) 340-3135

David Walker

Veterans and Active Duty Service Personnel Have Educational Opportunities

West Virginia lawmaker Delegate David Walker (D) wants to inform state veterans, guardsmen, active duty service personnel and coast guardsmen of the numbers of educational opportunities available to them within colleges and universities and technical schools.

“I know that within my district there are a good many members within our military ranks who are not aware of the educational programs available through the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.” Walker said. “In these economic times many individuals, not in the service, are being retrained to participate in the job market. I think it is imperative to inform the brave men and women who have served or are serving in our Armed Forces that they have financial assistance should they wish to advance their skills.”

For instance:

  • Post-9/11 Gi Bill (Chapter 33) - For individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service since September 10, 2001 or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Transfer of entitlement is also available under this Chapter.
  • Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (Chapter 30) - For individuals who have been honorably discharged typically served three years of active duty or two years of active duty and an additional four years in the Selected Reserve, and contributed $1,2000 towards the program.
  • Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) - For individuals who have committed to a six-year obligation, completed IADT, and are currently serving in good standing with a Reserve or Guard component. Eligibility for benefits under this program is determined by the Reserve or Guard component.
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) (Chapter 1607) - For individuals who have served active duty at least 90 consecutive days after Sept. 11, 2002, in specific operations. The Secretaries of each military service, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard) will determine eligibility.
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35) - For the spouse of children (between the ages of 18 and 26) of a veteran who is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability; or was killed in the line of duty or died as a result of the service-connected disability.

Veterans are encouraged seek more information on these benefit programs or apply at www.gibill.va.gov

“Also,” Walker said, “there are apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs where VA benefits can be used to supplement a trainee’s income.”

A variety of programs are available at job training facilities statewide which meet certain approval criteria specified in U.S. Code.

“These apprenticeships include boilermaker, carpenter, correctional officer, electrician, fire fighter, iron worker, heavy equipment mechanic, operating engineer, plumber/steamfitter, police officer and sheet metal worker,” Walker said. “These jobs pay well. Veterans and active duty personnel should take advantage of the benefits they have truly earned.”

Nearly all public and private colleges and universities have programs approved for degrees or certificates in a variety of academic fields. Included are programs offered at accredited medical facilities for Nursing, Radiologic Technology, etc.

Non-college degree programs are offered in West Virginia’s vocational/technical career centers. Some of these include cosmetology and barbering schools. Private training facilities also have approved programs.

Walker said that individuals who are seeking information and assistance on VA-related matter should contact the particular institution of the facility’s VA Certifying Official.

General information may be obtained by visiting www.veteranseducationwv.com or, by calling the Office of Veterans Education and Training Programs at 304-558-0263


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