BC workshop caters to local veterans

Phillip Rodriguez, Reporter

Veterans looking to attend BC were able to attend a workshop designed to assist them with financial aid, and more specifically aid related to the GI bills and other vet-related assistance.

On Nov 10, the day before Veterans Day, the educational advisor for veterans, Tina Mendoza, gave a presentation explaining what benefits returning vets could receive. Several other members and staff accompanied her such as the Veterans Affairs certifying official Linda Cordoba, and economic adviser for Financial Aid Evette Lara.

“I think the GI Bill is a great way for Veterans to go to school,” said Mendoza.

Two bills were introduced to the attending Vets, the first being the Montgomery Bill. Under this bill, Mendoza explained, veterans can attain around $1,800 and 36 months of benefits with regard to college. The VA will not pay for tuition, books or parking under the Montgomery Bill, however.

The second bill is the Post-9/11 Bill, which pays $1,300 and spans a 12-month period, but also pays for tuition and books. Veterans who have access to both can take advantage of each option consecutively, said Mendoza.

Among the other programs offered to the attendees were Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, as well as work-study programs supplied by the VA and Employment Development Department.

Among the veterans attending was Paul Peterson, a Marine who has recently come back to Kern County after serving 10 years as an aviation technician. Peterson, a native of Tehachapi, said that he is looking into the bills to “progress” his profession.

“I think it’s awesome. Something is better than nothing,” Peterson said about the bills.

Also attending the workshop was Curtis Gomez, a foreman in the Navy who came to the event in order to see if the GI Bills would transfer into four-year schools. Gomez also said that he felt positively about the bills “It’s good. (The Bills) are very helpful.”

Mendoza repeated to the veterans that they should all apply for each program, including FAFSA.

These workshops are conducted every semester, according to Mendoza, with the next GI Bill pertaining to the fall semester.