By Sam Youngman - 08/03/09 11:53 AM EDT
President Barack Obama on Monday lauded the implementation of a new GI Bill that extends educational benefits for veterans and their families.
Joined by Vice President Joe Biden, Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (D) and former Virginia Sen. John Warner (R), Obama said the new program will allow veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to "get the opportunities they have earned."
The program is set up on tiers beginning with those who have served at least 90 days on active duty beginning Sept. 10, 2001.
National Guard members and reservists will be eligible to receive the funds.
With the funds rolling out of VA beginning Aug. 1, the president, speaking at George Mason University, said that the new plan will not only help the country "meet our moral obligation" to those who have served but will also help them to be "prepared to lead our nation in the peaceful pursuit of economic leadership in the 21st century."
"This is not simply a debt we are repaying to the remarkable men and women who have served," Obama said. "It is an investment in our own country."