VFW to Honor Senator Webb Leadership on Post-9/11 GI Bill

WASHINGTONNext Tuesday, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) will be awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Gold Medal and Citation of Merit for his leadership in sponsoring the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which was signed into law on June 30, 2008. 

VFW National Commander George Lisicki will present the award to Senator Webb at the organization's national convention in Orlando for "recognition of exceptional service rendered the country, community, and mankind."

The senator is also scheduled to deliver remarks before the convention on Tuesday morning. 

"Senator Webb made a vow to create a new GI Bill for the 21st Century. He kept that promise, and it is my honor and privilege to present the VFW Gold Medal and Citation to Senator Webb for his efforts," said VFW Commander-In-Chief George Lisicki. "Credit is due to Senator Webb for building the ship and successfully steering it for almost 19 months to success.

"The VFW had been pushing for a new GI Bill for 10 years," continued Lisicki. "We had called, written, testified, and met with every Member and staffer. We were greeted with sympathetic ears, but what we needed was a champion in the corner of America's newest 'Greatest Generation.' We needed someone who could reason and negotiate across party lines like a gentleman, yet push through obstacles with bulldog tenacity. That someone was Jim Webb."

Senator Webb introduced the Post-9/11 GI Bill on January 3, 2007-his first day in office. The newly enacted landmark legislation provides veterans of the post-9/11 era with comprehensive educational benefits similar to those provided to veterans of WWII.

"In early '06, we began with the simple concept that those who have been serving since 9/11 should have the same opportunity for a first class educational future as those who served during World War II. Today, we can celebrate the achievement of that goal," said Webb. "I am honored to receive this award from the VFW, a group that was integral to this bill's success. The collaboration and support of the VFW during the past year and a half were very much a key to its passage. 

"I know that those who will assemble at the VFW convention next week can attest that there are no politics here. This is about properly honoring service to country, and taking care of the people who have taken care of us," said Webb. 

This is Webb's second Gold Medal and Citation from the VFW. In 2001, Webb was awarded the "News Media Award" for outstanding contributions in promoting a greater understanding of the American way of life. "His literary work has brought critical acclaim and through his honest and forthright reporting, his outspoken criticism of revisionist history and his defense of the facts regarding Vietnam Veterans," reads the award.

Over the course of his career in government and as a writer, Webb has received numerous other awards from veterans organizations, including the American Legion's National Commander's Public Relations Award, the Marine Corps League's Iron Mike award, and the Medal of Honor Society's Patriot Award, an honor he shares with former President Ronald Reagan. Webb has also been invited to deliver the keynote address to the American Legion's national convention at the end of August.