I have followed the career of Senator James Webb ever since he gave an outstanding rebuttal to President Bush's State of the Union Address last year. The Senator perfectly articulates the angst of that segment of America that is bearing the cost of the Iraq War through military service while the rest of us received tax cuts.
Senator Webb is proudly sponsoring a 21st Century version of the GI Bill to honor these people for their service. The GI Bill of WWII paid for our best and brightest veterans to lift themselves up by their bootstraps and our country was well-served by their subsequent accomplishments. Examples of people who benefited from the GI Bill are President Gerald Ford, who attended the University of Michigan, and Senator John Warner, who went through both undergrad and law school on the GI Bill. There were millions of others.
Surprisingly, both President Bush and Senator John McCain are against the bill, describing it as "too expensive." The military is also against it because they think they will lose even more experienced people who leave to take advantage of the benefit.
It's my belief that it will create a surge of ever more talented people entering the military. American higher education can cost a small fortune. I think young people will "play the odds" of not getting hurt and sign up for service in droves. Regardless of what I think of how our policymakers have chosen to use our military, what I care most about is that the people who serve are honored both verbally and financially for the nobility of their service. It's the least we can do.