Thousands of veterans who risked their lives battling insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan are still waiting on the Department of Veterans Affairs to deliver the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits they were promised, the Associated Press reports.
Under the new GI Bill—the most significant expansion of education benefits since the original 1944 bill—eligible students receive funding for college tuition, housing, and textbooks. But the VA has been slow to distribute this money, leaving veterans like 27-year-old father and Purple Heart recipient Brandon Thomas scrambling to borrow from family members or take out loans to pay their bills.
The VA only began making payments in August, and some 70,000 eligible veterans who filed claims for this school year are still waiting for their first checks. More than 275,000 claims for benefits have been filed so far, the VA says.
Military men and women have been trained to be patient, says Thomas, because patience often means success on the battlefield. But, he says, "Patience only goes so long."
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