Thousands of veterans attending college thanks to the GI Bill have had their housing allowances delayed or go missing altogether, according to an NBC News report published on Veterans Day.
As of Nov. 8, more than 82,000 veterans were waiting on their housing payments with only weeks left in the current school session, and many more are believed to have been impacted, NBC News reports.
When the Forever GI Bill was signed into law in 2017, the legislation greatly expanded benefits for vets and their families, but it also required that the Department of Veterans Affairs change how housing allowances would be calculated. Previously, housing payments were calculated based on the location of the college's main campus — the Forever GI Bill calls for the allowances to be calculated based on where the classes are attended, according to Stars and Stripes.
And that’s where the problems began: technical issues surrounding the new calculations led to hundreds of thousands of veterans receiving reduced housing allowance payments, Stars and Stripes’reported in September.
The problem appears to have grown since then, with many veterans reporting delays, or missing housing payments altogether, forcing some veteran students to move out of their apartments and live with family and friends while working towards their degree.
In October, Nikki Wentling of Stars and Stripes spoke to 14 veteran students in 14 states who "received either the wrong amount or no housing allowance at all. Some of them called the VA and waited on hold until they gave up, and others reached out to their elected representatives. Six mentioned the lack of payment affected their ability to pay their rent or other bills."
"This is — to be kind — a train wreck,” Rep. Phil Roe, a Tennessee Republican and chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee told NBC News. “It’s really frustrating the amount of money that Congress has appropriated for veterans, and this is the way VA has rolled it out. This discussion started over a year ago.”
Have your GI Bill housing allowance payments been delayed, or gone missing altogether? Email James Clark at James@taskandpurpose.com.
Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly said that the Forever GI Bill calls for housing allowances to be calculated based on where a veteran student lives. It has been updated to reflect that payments are based on where the classes are attended.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."
Members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepare a seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTRV) to be lifted by a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., on Jan. 16, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Clare J. McIntire)
If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.