Like many Vietnam Vets, I “got in a little hometown jam” and ended up entering the Army on my 17th birthday in November 1966. After basic training and AIT, I was assigned to the 1/79th Artillery, 7th Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. I earned my GED through the USAFI program and actually graduated before my class in the spring of 1967. After my tour in Korea I was assigned to an Honest John unit at Ft. Lewis, Washington. After a couple of months of tedious stateside duty I was able to get re-assigned to the 972nd Signal Battalion that was preparing to ship out to Vietnam. As I approached the end of my tour in Vietnam, I began to consider if and where to go to college.

As a resident of Illinois I was eligible for free tuition at any state college or university, so I applied to the University of Illinois and was accepted. My father had returned from three years in the Pacific during WWII and went directly to the U of I, so it was sort of a family tradition that I started college 10 days after returning from Vietnam. Another part of the tradition was that at that time, September, 1969, the monthly stipend for the GI Bill was almost the same as what my father received some 20 years earlier. While I was not ready for the demands of a Big-10 university at the time, I did manage, with the help of the local junior college, to eventually graduate from the U of I in 1978. In 1984 I moved to Georgia and pursued a master’s degree in the field of Recreation and Leisure Studies. After nearly 17 years of working in municipal recreation programs I returned to the University of Georgia to work on a doctorate in Adult Education. My experience in the Army with the GED and the many soldiers who were drafted under the “Project 100,000” program (a program that took 100,000 recruits a year in to the military without being able to meet basic military educational standards) gave me a great interest in the area of adult literacy education and the GED. I completed my doctorate in 1998 and have worked in higher education in the State of Georgia since that time.

It is encouraging to see that the educational benefits for today’s Veterans are such that pursuing further education is possible for many. I hope that efforts such as this blog can help encourage and assist these vets as they move forward.

Mark Johnson, Ed.D., served tours in both Korea and Vietnam and is currently with the Office of Faculty Development with the University System of Georgia.

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Published on Dec. 6, 2010

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4 Comments

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  2. Mark Jpohnson December 7, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Doug, I’d have to defer to the folks running the blog as I am not well versed in the in’s-and-out’s of VA policy.

  3. Doug December 6, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Mark,

    Great blog. Has there been any changes for those of us DAV’s who joined in the early 80’s and only have VEAP? What’s out there for us, if we didn’t sign up for VEAP?

    Thanks.

    • Kenneth Lindsay December 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      Yes there is help out there if you do not have access to the GI Bill. It is written about in what is called the Code of Federal Regulations. It is
      20 CFR 1010.

      Below is a leter I sent to a veterans Benefits Administration,

      I receive these Department of Labor notices (as part of my “self help education and employment research”). I think the two notices listed below are very important. If used separately or together they should help many Veterans ( especially those that have education, employability issues and/or Homelessness) reach self-sustainability, if they were only aware of them. And the providers of Department of Labor funded training and the One-Stop Career Centers followed them ( I personally do not think they always wish to, it means they have to provide training to Veterans based on “Priority of Service” instead of giving training to those they wish to.

      The first notice is quite possibly the most important and is a very recent update. It is a “must read”, it is equal to a “Veterans Rights Amendment”.

      If I knew how to blog I would blog both of these to all Veteran Service Organizations, all VBA rep’s, all Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, all Vet Centers and VA.gov (the “Priority of Service” notice should be on VA.gov so veterans know their “Rights” it is more important/relevant than most of the press releases on VA’s Home Page, to Veterans wishing to help themselves.

      Advisories – Training and Employment Notices (TEN) for United States Department of Labor. This information has recently been updated.
      TEN 15-10 — Protocol for Implementing Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses in all Qualified Job Training Programs Funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has been added to the ETA Advisory database and is now available at

      Paste this Link— http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=2954

      . After you open this link, which will take you to a Dept of Labor site, you’ll find a link to a PDF in the center of the page which will open the document.

      Advisories – Training and Employment Guidance Letters (TEGL) for United States Department of Labor. This information has recently been updated.
      TEGL 12-10 — Supporting Entrepreneurial and Self-Employment Training through the Workforce Investment System has been added to to the ETA Advisory database and is now available at
      Paste this Link— http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=2957

      After you open this link which will take you to a Dept of Labor site, you’ll find a link to a PDF in the center of the page which will open the document.

      Jeffery thank you for all the help last year. Hopefully I’ll be able to return to school in the future, and I am still pursuing Just for Veterans.com

      Thank You, hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving and have a Merry Christmas!

      Ken Lindsay
      http://www.justforveterans.com
      klindsay@justforveterans.com

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