Tester, Moran Lead Bipartisan Call to Award Presidential Medal of Freedom to G.I. Bill Author

Senators call on President Trump to honor Harry W. Colmery for distinguished military service and devotion to nation’s veterans

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) led their committee colleagues in a bipartisan call urging President Donald Trump to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harry W. Colmery, a World War I veteran and original author of the G.I. Bill.

“Having recognized the desperate situations many servicemembers returned to following admirable service in World War I, Mr. Colmery, a distinguished Kansan and World War I veteran himself, drafted and developed the G.I Bill in 1944 to support servicemembers and new veterans’ adjustment to peacetime,” the Senators wrote.

They continued, “Mr. Harry Colmery devoted himself to our country through his own military service as a first lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during World War I, and subsequent efforts to ensure the nation dutifully addressed the needs of our Armed Forces. America’s investment in the G.I. Bill has not only provided servicemembers with the benefits they deserve, but also strengthened families and communities in addition to bolstering our Nation’s ability to attract an all-volunteer military force.”

Ranking Member Tester and Chairman Moran were joined by Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Michael Rounds (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.).

Tester has continuously worked to modernize and strengthen G.I. Bill education benefits for Montana veterans, Reservists and their families. In 2017, Mr. Colmery’s legacy was honored when Congress passed and President Trump signed Tester’s Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act into law. This bipartisan bill amends the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill by striking down the arbitrary 15-year window for veterans to use their G.I. Bill education benefits, ensuring that veterans in Montana and across the country receive greater access to higher education.

A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found HERE.