Young vet uses Post-9/11 GI Bill for higher education in New York City

Derek Coy enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 19 and served in Iraq from August 2005 to August 2006. He used the Post 9/11 GI Bill to finish college and get an advanced degree in Middle Eastern History from the City College of New York. Credit: Bess Adler
Derek Coy enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 19 and served in Iraq from August 2005 to August 2006. He used the Post 9/11 GI Bill to finish college and get an advanced degree in Middle Eastern History from the City College of New York. Credit: Bess Adler

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill includes the most generous education benefits afforded to veterans since World War II, providing up front tuition payments directly to schools, a monthly living allowance and a book stipend of $1,000 per year for qualified veterans and their families.

Derek Coy, a veteran of the Marine Corps who served in Iraq from August 2005 to August 2006 and returned to school initially on the old GI Bill saw the difference when the new one kicked in and said it was “night and day.”

“The benefits that you’re afforded are phenomenal,” Coy said. “It really covers the student veteran from almost all angles.”

Coy said he was “probably one of the first” of this generation’s vets to benefit from this almost unprecedented investment in the education of the United States’ service members. 

Not only did the Post 9/11 GI help Coy finish his undergraduate degree, he was also able to use those funds to move to New York City to pursue an advanced degree in Middle Eastern History at the City College of New York.

“Never in a million years would I have thought that I would have moved from Texas to New York City to go to grad school, or really go to grad school at all,” Coy said. “It was a decision I made that I was really excited about.”

Veterans often struggle with adjusting to civilian life when they return from duty, and finding employment has been particularly tough for many, as civilian employers often don’t see how skills developed on the battlefield translate to those needed in the workforce.

Coy said going back to school is a great way for veterans to ease back into civilian life and deal with the obstacles that can arise in searching for employment. 

“It’s one of those things that really unleashes the next level of potential within veterans,” Coy said. “Once you come out, the skill set and vitality and potential you have is really second to none.”

“It really just offers a whole variety of opportunities to each veteran,” he added.

Readers can check out the stories of other veterans who have benefited from this GI Bill here.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

U.S. soldier convicted of WikiLeaks crimes granted name…

By Carey Gillam(Reuters) - Former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks, can exchange…

Local

Teen enters guilty plea for accidental shooting of…

A teenager who admitted to accidentally shooting his best friend to death entered a guilty plea to charges of involuntary manslaughter today.

International

PHOTOS: Places to visit on Shakespeare's 450th birthday

William Shakespeare would celebrate his 450th birthday on Wednesday, and England's greatest playwright let his imagination roam as widely as his characters.

National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Arts

'Don Giovanni' lead’s first love was hockey

Maybe this has something to do with living in the city whose best-loved players are the infamous Broad Street Bullies, but hockey and opera don’t…

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

Books

'#GIRLBOSS': Nasty Gal CEO shares unlikely success story

Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso shares her rags to riches, dumpster to Porsche tale in her new book "#GIRLBOSS."

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Tech

App Appeal: Unf— Your Habitat is a sweary…

Guilt trip yourself into some spring cleaning with the app "Unf— Your Habitat," which uses swearing and some rudeness to get you to get your s— together.

Education

The benefits and challenges of intensive summer programs

Get the facts on taking an advanced college course.

Wellbeing

Why you need a facial

What can a facial do for your face that a washcloth and soap can’t?

Wellbeing

You can have your healthy snacks delivered

To take the guesswork out of procuring snacks good for you and your family, check out one of these companies.