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Is My Girlfriend’s Son Still Eligible for His GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My girlfriend’s son was kicked out of the service for drug use. His DD214 under character of service says under honorable conditions (general). He was in for over 2 years, and paid his $100 a month for the first year. Is he still eligible for his GI Bill and VA benefits?

A: I’m not an expert in VA benefits, other than education and the GI Bill, so I can’t say if he is eligible or not, however, with that type of discharge I can tell you that he would not be able to use his GI Bill. If he paid his $1,200 contribution fee, then he has the Montgomery GI Bill. And if he served for at least 90 days after September 10, 2001, he would have some coverage under the Post 9/11 GI Bill – in fact 36 months at the 80 % tier, if all of his two years were after the September date.

But he threw that all away. With a fully Honorable discharge, he could have received a four-year degree of his choice and over ¾ of it would have been paid for. Plus he would have been paid up to 80% of the Monthly Housing Allowance and book stipend. In the end, he threw away about $72,000 because he couldn’t stay away from drugs.

They are the scrounge of the 21st century and I have seen them ruin many servicemembers – your girlfriend’s son is a perfect example.

And it is too bad. There are thousands of students who do not have the GI Bill that are struggling to get through school – many of them building up mounds of student debt. Most of them would give anything to get $72,000 of their school costs paid for.

He had it good and lost it all – too bad.

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