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Can I Use My GI Bill to Learn How to Make Knives?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I would like to maybe learn to make knives on a GI Bill so I can work at home.

A: That may be a tough sell. The GI Bill’s intent is to train veterans in a vocation of some type where they can make a living from the training provided by the GI Bill. There can be a fine line between an avocation (hobby) and vocation (job or career). I’m not saying it is impossible, but you will have to sufficiently justify it to the point where the VA will approve your training program.

My friend builds custom knives, and from what he charges, I know it is possible to make a living from that skill. He easily sells all the knives he can make at gun shows. He learned the trade from a mentor that did it for years before him.

If you can find a VA-approved knife-making training program, it could be possible using a GI Bill other than the Post 9/11 GI Bill. That most likely would not pay for a non-degree program unless you can find a course that is taught at a school also teaching degree courses.

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