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Doing right by those on Veterans Day who were willing to give it all

By in Press Enterprise on November 10, 2017

By Duncan Hunter

Veterans Day is an opportunity to recognize and remember the sacrifices our military men and women and their families have made in the service of our country. As a Marine Corps veteran, I believe it is also important to recognize the many challenges these individuals face when transitioning out of the military and returning to the workforce.

To assist with this transition, Congress has increased our Veterans Affairs GI Bill to be the most generous our warriors have ever seen. While many veterans aspire toward a conventional college classroom education, some prefer employment opportunities in the manufacturing and skilled trade labor fields. Unfortunately, an unnecessary bureaucratic process is preventing many California veterans from being able to utilize their hard-earned VA GI Bill benefits while receiving the necessary certifications and training that provides for a successful return to the workforce.

Before disbursing VA GI Bill educational benefits, a school or training facility must receive certification by each individual State Approving Agency. In our case, this is the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. This certification ensures that the programs are properly accredited and our veterans are not subjected to predatory practices.

These precautions are obviously necessary. According to the VA, however, the process for vetting trade schools in California can take almost twice as long as those in other states. Even more frustrating is there is no apparent explanation why. California veterans cannot move forward with their post-military service plans and utilize the benefits for which they earned simply because the BPPE cannot perform its review process in the same timeframe as other states do successfully. This is the very definition of bureaucracy.

For example, the Workshops for Warriors in San Diego is a unique program working toward two objectives: helping veterans receive the necessary education to obtain gainful employment and, at the same time, […]    

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