Proposed Bill would Allow More Benefits to Veterans Spouses, Children - - No One Gets You Closer

Proposed Bill would Allow More Benefits to Veterans Spouses, Children


TISHOMINGO, OK--  Reighna Chestnut is a student at Murray State College in Tishomingo and works at a boutique in Madill part time. She said she does receive benefits for her college education and said she's grateful for that.

"The G.I. bill has helped with being able to have that security that I will be able to go to college. There's not a money issue at all and I'm so thankful to not have to worry about the whole money issue," Chestnut said.

Chestnut said he grandfather adopted her when she was younger and said one of his main concerns was her education. She said if it wasn't for him she wouldn't know what to do.

"With not having the money to go to college, oh my goodness I wouldn't know how I would pay for it. When my grandfather passed away, he always told me you're going to be able to go to college," Chestnut said.

Currently the G. I. bill requires a form that has to be filled out in order for spouses or children to get benefits and in addition to that, the military member has to serve four more years. With the proposed bill, that could change.

Veteran Don Mercer said there are about 75 students at Murray State College that are receiving benefits, and said if this bill passes, there could be more.

"It's an opportunity that I'm going be able to use for my wife who has now actually been considering going back to school," Mercer said.

The proposed Veterans education bill is designed to fill several gaps, gaps that Mercer said definitely needs to be filled.

"The conscious decision about transferring the benefits to the family members didn't actually convey over to the family members if that service member was killed while on duty, and that's one of the gap senator Simpson is addressing," Mercer said.