Since its signing in 1944 the GI Bill has notoriously provided educational benefits to the country’s veterans and offered low-cost home loans, unemployment benefits and healthcare benefits. Over the past 75 years, the bill has paid more than $400 billion in educational benefits to 25 million recipients and authorized more than 24 million home loans—changing the post-service lives of millions including U.S. Navy veteran Kyle Finleon.

In 2005, following the bombings in London, Kyle was first inspired to military service.

“I happened to be doing an internship in London that summer and left just two days before the bombings,” says Kyle. “It was pretty eye opening to say the least. That was the first time I realized I wanted to serve.”   kyle finleon in dress whites

He graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas in 2006 with a major in marketing and a bachelors in business administration and went to work for Applied Materials for two years. He then decided to join the Navy and trained to become a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO). During his time as a SWO he saw deployments to both Africa and South America aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts where he conducted anti-piracy and anti-drug operations.

After his time in the Navy, Kyle returned to the semiconductor industry. With the GI Bill at his disposal, he knew a Master of Business Administration would further his career. He had his sights set on a large, reputable business school which led him to Syracuse University. Pleased with the veteran-friendly atmosphere and flexibility within the program, Kyle began his MBA program in August 2012. In 2015, he graduated with his MBA from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and heralded his time and experience with both the University and the VA.

“I was very pleased with the ease at which Syracuse, as well as the VA, made it to coordinate the use of the GI Bill and the support Syracuse gave me in that process. The GI Bill is what makes America special. It is America’s way of saying thank you to our service members by giving them the tools needed to succeed.”