The men and women who wear our nation’s uniform are extraordinary people who are always prepared to meet the challenges of our time. I support measures to address veteran homelessness, improve the veteran health care system, and facilitate a smooth transition to civilian life for all returning veterans.
It is our solemn responsibility to honor each veteran's service and ensure we are doing all that we can to support them when they leave the military and return home. One of my proudest moments as a Member of Congress came in 2008, when I voted for the post 9/11 GI Bill, which was the largest expansion of veterans’ benefits since the original GI Bill passed after World War II. Since then I have continued to support meaningful legislation to help veterans and their families.
My Work on Veterans Issues
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), introduced the bipartisan GI Education Benefits Fairness Act, H.R. 1718. This legislation would align definitions of an eligible child in the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense for the purposes of the education benefit transfer. Currently, veterans and service members receive education benefits that they can transfer to their children, but a discrepancy in the definitions across agencies has led to the denial of this benefit to military families.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan GI Education Benefits Fairness Act. This legislation would align definitions of an eligible child in the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense for the purposes of the education benefit transfer.
For Batavia veteran Larry Orsborn, attending the wellness fair in Aurora Thursday for veterans was the "right thing to do."
"Unfortunately there are not a lot of 'outside' people who know as much about the resources available as the people that are here do," Orsborn said.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) reintroduced a resolution supporting DREAMers in the military. The resolution calls on the Secretary of Defense to authorize DREAMers to serve in the armed services. Allowing DREAMers to serve would improve military readiness and let young people who grew up in the United States serve the country they call home. Congressman Foster co-led the resolution with Congressmen Jared Polis (D-CO) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) with eighteen additional original cosponsors.
Auora, IL – Today, Congressman Bill Foster again invited constituents of the Eleventh Congressional District to participate in the “Valentines for Vets” program.
Last year, students and community members made over 1,600 Valentine’s Day cards. Foster’s office delivered the valentines to the Joliet Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Judd Kendall VFW in Naperville, and Operation Care Package in Joliet, which sent valentines to troops serving overseas.
Elwood, IL - The first federally approved monument honoring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) veterans was dedicated Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois.
With flags representing all branches of service, along with the rainbow flag for the LGBT community, the monument was unveiled to applause.
NEWPORT NEWS -- In August 2010, Sgt. 1st Class Angela Dees sent her stepson off to college, a move made possible because she transferred her benefits to him under the GI Bill.
Or that's what she thought.
Halfway through the semester, Christopher hadn't received any money. Dees stretched her credit card to pay his living expenses, bus fare and other bills. She was confident the GI Bill benefits would come through because the Defense Department had OK'd the transfer.
An Illinois congressman wants children of soldiers to avoid a case of educationus interruptus. Sgt. First Class Angela Dees of Joliet, now stationed in Virginia, says the Defense Department reversed itself on her son’s tuition and demanded a refund. “The only thing the VA website or any of the other literature concerning the Post-9-11 GI Bill stated was that it could be transferred to spouses and dependent children that had to be in (a military dependents’ reporting system),” Dees said on a conference call arranged for reporters by the office of U.S. Rep.
At least seven legislative proposals are pending in Congress to improve the new GI Bill for large swaths of beneficiaries, including active-duty and reserve troops, wounded warriors and families.
The four-year-old Post-9/11 GI Bill has served 1 million students at a cost of almost $35 billion — but some lawmakers clearly think it could be doing more to serve troops, veterans and their families.