There are more than 420,000 vets in South Carolina which comprise 14-percent of the population. They received $882 million in compensation last year through the Veterans Administration and $60 million in vocational rehabilitation services.
There’s now help for vets who want more education in addition to programs offered through the military and Veterans Administration. AMVETS is one of a handful of veteran?s support organizations in the U.S. National AMVETS Commander John Hapner says scholarships and tuition vouchers are now available for on-line college courses which may be taken through some national chain universities, including University of Phoenix(with physical locations in South Carolina), as well as Kaplan and others. The classes are also open to the spouses and children of vets.
Hapner says education is important for vets. “This is going to be an outstanding program to educate vets like they did after WWII. Without that G.I. Bill, we wouldn’t have had all the progress we’ve had over the years.”
Last year AMVETS helped to process more than 65,000 V.A. claims and appeals resulting in more than $400 million in recovered benefits.
Hapner says whether school funding comes directly from AMVETS or from the Veterans Administration, AMVETS will guide vets through the process to assure that they receive the education they deserve. ” We make some available to them and steer them in the right direction to where they can get help in their communities. Or local posts also have scholarships.”
Hapner says a lot of returning vets don’t have the where-with-all to attend college immediately upon their return and they loose some of their benefits.
Hapner encourages members of the public to show their appreciation for soldiers and vets when they have the opportunity. “When you see service members in airports, tell ’em ‘hi’, and ‘thanks’ for all they do. And thank the vets you know. And remember that without them, we wouldn’t have a country to worry about.”
AMVETS administrators say that education programs helps returning vets to feel like they fit in. They say a 20-23 year-old veteran is more worldly than the typical 18-year-old American just out of high school.