Some of you may remember former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki for publicly breaking
in 2003 with the Bush administration over estimated troop requirements for the Iraq war, and then being vindicated
in 2007 when the U.S. sent in more troops to stabilize the country.
Shinseki, now Secretary of Veterans Affairs
, visited Portland today to co-host a roundtable at Portland State University with vets turned students about the new Post 9/11 GI Bill
. Other co-hosts were U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
Wyden, who unofficially moderated the event, said the goal of the GI Bill was for “out vets to go from in country to in school in the smoothest possible fashion."
Backers of the new version of the GI Bill say it's an improvement over the older version because it offers veterans more money for school. The new bill gives veterans who served during and after 9/11 four years of tuition as well as stipends for housing and books. Most of the questions today from the 80 or so people attending revolved around ensuring that the new bill would be easily accessible and navigable for returning soldiers.
Shinseki said it would, promising listeners that “the tone and culture in the VA is changing.”