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Our National Guard and Reserve Forces and Your Education Benefits

The United States went through such a drawdown in the 1990s that the active forces are now stretched very thin during the global war on terror! The nation must rely on the National Guard and Service Reserve Forces to meet many of our military needs! A quick look at the facts: According to the Veteran's Administration, our citizen airmen, soldiers, marines, sailors and coasties "constitute 50% of returning OEF/OIF Veterans utilizing VA services and their ages range from 18 to 60. And over 500,000 personnel used GI Bill benefits in 2007! There is a great article on the GI Bill on MilitaryAvenue and how it has changed the lives of service men and women. In addition there is some great information on the VA website on eligibility and benefits.

There are 7 Guard and Reserve forces-Air and Army National Guard and the Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and Army Reserves. Recognizing the need for support that is different than active forces in many cases, the National Guard Bureau started a Transition Assistance Advisor program for those returning to civilian life after a lengthy military tour. The TAA offices can be found in each state and the reserves have similar assistance programs.

There is some great information on educational opportunities within the Guard and Reserves at DoD Voluntary Education Programs. This site has many very helpful links as well and can be a great starting point for researching your education benefits as a citizen soldier returning home.

Thank you for your service and as we approach Veteran's Day I encourage you to take advantage of those benefits that you have so dearly earned!

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