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Says Measure Needed to Keep Faith with Veterans, Restore America’s Military, and Strengthen U.S. Economy

Roseville, Calif. – Fourth District Congressional Candidate and Retired USAF Lt. Col. Charlie Brown today praised House and Senate passage of the Post 9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act (New GI Bill), and called upon President Bush to ‘honor veterans this Memorial Day,’ by supporting the measure and signing it into law.

This isn”t just about keeping a promise to those who have served,’ said Brown. ‘It’s a solution to the recruitment problems plaguing our military, and a vital investment in America’s economic future.’

A 1988 Congressional Study found that for every dollar invested in the original GI Bill—which made a free college education (including tuition, books, and a living stipend) available to more than 15 million World War II veterans—returned $7 to the U.S. economy. It’s credited with helping to drive America’s post WW II economic boom, producing more than 230,000 teachers, 91,000 scientists, 67,000 doctors, and 450,000 engineers.

A GI Bill with fully funded educational benefits has a track record of producing innovators, expanding prosperity, and strengthening America’s middle class,’ Brown said. ‘That’s what we need to help get our economy back on track.’

The military is currently spending more than $4 billion annually on recruitment. Recruitment problems across the uniformed services have led the military to lower age, education and aptitude standards for enlistees. Enlistment costs have dramatically increased in recent years, and are expected to skyrocket as the Defense Department undergoes a planned expansion of the Army and Marine Corps. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the new GI Bill will increase military recruitment by 16%.

Our military is already stretched dangerously thin, and America’s long term security demands the ability to recruit and retain the most highly skilled troops,’ Brown added. ‘As the top incentive for new enlistees, this new GI Bill will more than pay for itself in the long term and enhance our ability to defeat global terrorism.’

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