Oklahoma currently has over 100 one-hundred-percent disabled veterans who have been injured while serving in the line of duty and over 100 veterans who have been killed-in-action since September 11, 2001. In order to provide some financial assistance to these brave individuals and their families as well as to those surviving spouses and children of those killed-in-action, Sen. Frank Simpson filed Senate Bill 486 this year creating the 9/11 G.I. Bill. This bill was approved unanimously Monday February 11th by the Senate Education Committee and was unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday.
SB 486 would provide these 100 percent disabled veterans, their spouses and children with free tuition to any state technology center, college or university in Oklahoma.
“These disabled veterans laid their lives on the line. They no longer are able to serve in the military so we need to provide them the educational tools to find new employment,” said Simpson, R-Springer. “After sustaining such devastating injuries, a family’s finances can be greatly affected. I think it’s important that we help the spouses get additional education so they can get higher paying jobs as well as provide free education to the children of these heroes.”
Simpson pointed out that the spouses of paralyzed veterans usually have to find better employment to help support the family and often times they need a higher level of education to get higher paying jobs.
SB 486 will also provide free tuition to the surviving spouses and children of those killed-in-action or killed in the line of duty during Iraqi Freedom or Afghanistan Enduring Freedom.
The bill will now go before the full Senate for further consideration.