Nov. 11, 2004
George Shevlin, a decorated Vietnam veteran, was a special guest at the third annual Veterans Day ceremony today at the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College.

In addition to service to the country, Shevlin is retired from the Pennsylvania Department of Education after serving as deputy secretary for postsecondary/higher education.

Shevlin's presentation focused on this year's 60th anniversary of the GI Bill, which carried special meaning for many HACC students, according to Jeff Culp, coordinator, military and veterans' affairs.

"During the fall semester at HACC, more than 550 veterans, eligible dependents, and members of the National Guard and Selected Reserves are using the GI Bill to help finance their higher education expenses," he said. "Without the GI Bill, many of these students would not be able to afford a higher education at all."

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the "Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944"-more commonly known as the GI Bill-into law on June 22, 1944. The bill gave veterans the means to finance their college education. It also provided a loan guaranty for a home, farm or business, unemployment pay for up to 52 weeks, job-finding assistance, top priority for building materials for VA hospitals, and military review of dishonorable discharges.

The modern GI Bill, which became effective in July 1985, extended GI Bill benefits to members of the National Guard and Selected Reserves. This bill provides 36 months of full-time education benefits to veterans discharged from the service, as well as those members of the Guard and Reserves who continue to serve.

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