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Military Blogger Contest Entry: Extradition Music

They say that those who served in World War II were the Greatest Generation. These men and women sacrificed for their country on the front lines, in American factories, and even in their homes during wartime. Those who served in the military were rewarded for their service by the passage of the Montgomery GI Bill. And in turn, the GI Bill changed our country forever, giving those who had proven their sense of duty to the nation an opportunity to enjoy the benefit of an education. It is possible that with the institution of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, that America is on the cusp of transforming once again.

As an officer in the U.S. Army, I was honored to serve with anywhere from 25 to 100 Soldiers during my five years of Active Duty. As an officer during I time of war, I was proud to serve with these same Soldiers in forward-deployed and combat situations. As a civilian, I am fulfilled to continue to work with those who served and remain in service. I feel like I gave some of my best years to the country and to the Army, and I have never regretted it. The benefits have simply been overwhelming.

The single greatest benefit I earned from my time in the Army is the sense of confidence, accomplishment, and fulfillment that I have gained from my service. In my current job, I work with service members of every branch and service, as well as with veterans in my great state. I recently completed a project that involved me interviewing 35 service members and veterans from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan just to gather their stories for posterity. We interviewed people from every part of our state, every background, nearly every rank, and every aspect of involvement in the current war. I would absolutely say that a high proportion of those interviewed would agree with me with respect to the great benefit of the fulfilling nature of military service.

The majority of my old Soldiers with whom I stay in close contact, and those who we interviewed for our project would likely also admit that the financial benefits they received from their time in Active Duty or Guard and Reserve components were a very close second to the pride and camaraderie of service. They often joined the military with no or some college, and separated with at least the college credits that earned them promotion through the ranks. They were then able to purchase homes with the 100% loan guaranteed through the VA Loan program, go to college on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and even ensure that their healthcare was covered if they sustained any level of injury while they were serving.

The country paid for my schooling too, and I used my benefits to purchase my home. I still believe that the single greatest benefit I received from the military was the sense of honor I still enjoy. Beyond that, I am going to enjoy watching this nation prosper from a new generation of servant-hearted veterans returning to the workforce and the classrooms of our country to help transform our nation again.

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