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Lynchburg named as one of best places for Veterans in education

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LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - Three cities in Virginia made the list of best places for Veterans in education, careers and entrepreneurs. USAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce commissioned the study.

Lynchburg is named as the number two spot in the country for military leaving active duty and looking to continue their education as part of their return to civilian life. More than 400 metropolitan areas were considered using GI Bill enrollment, graduation rates, loan debt and more.

Liberty University has a military affairs office with a person dedicated to helping students with issues relating to their service. Liberty says they've provided encouragement and support to more than 31,000 military service members, veterans, and their spouses as they earn their degrees, most of those are online.

"As someone who lives in Virginia I know what a great community Virginia is for our veterans and their families. A lot of service members who get sent here by the military, decide to stay here and make it home," said Eric Eversole, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President.

Virginia Beach was named to the best places for veterans to have a career.  Staunton listed as one of the best places for entrepreneurship.  Their advice for everyone is have a plan and understand how you want to use the GI Bill.

"It's important that you don't squander that opportunity. It's one of the best benefits afforded our veterans because not only does it pay for books and tuition but it also gives them a monthly stipend so it's important to use it to the best of your ability," said Eric Engquist, USAA Assistant Vice President.

They want Veterans to use the lists to think ahead before making the transition out of the military.

Coming out on top as the number one "Best Place for Veterans: Education" is Tuscaloosa, AL. Rounding out the top 10, in order, are Lynchburg, VA; Ann Arbor, MI; College Station, TX; St. Louis; Killeen, TX: Syracuse, NY; Greenville, NC; Salt Lake City; and Columbia, SC.

Coming out on top as the number one "Best Place for Veteran Entrepreneurs" is Asheville, NC. Rounding out the top 10, in order, are Sarasota, FL; West Palm Beach; Staunton, VA; Prescott, AZ; Wilmington, NC; Missoula, MT; Ft. Lauderdale; Oklahoma City; and Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

Coming out on top as the number one "Best Place for Veterans: Careers" is Oklahoma City. Rounding out the top 10, in order, are Pittsburgh, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans, St. Louis, Virginia Beach, Cleveland, Dallas and San Antonio.