Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another Kick

I received a letter from the Veterans Administration yesterday stating I have until Dec. 20, 2008, to use my military education benefits, or I will lose them completely. This statement is news to me, considering I retired from active military service in October, 2003, and I should have ten years from my retirement date to use the entire, 48-month education benefit promised when I enlisted.

I guess that's not the case. The reasoning behind this monumental decision, according to the letter, is because I had a service break from Dec. 8, 1984 to Oct. 18, 1987, and the education benefit was shortened by any time I was not on active duty. This little tidbit of information was never passed to me at any of the hundreds of counseling meetings that I attended during 20 years of service to my country. If I had known the time period to use the military education benefit would be shortened, I would have attended college sooner after my honorable discharge instead of gaining practical experience in the IT field.

My advice: Watch what is promised closely if you enlist in the military and review the mounds of information available. I served my second tour of duty from October 1987 to October 2003, and this little rule never popped up in 16 years.

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