Restore funding to the military tuition assistance program.
  • Petitioned Michael B. Donley

This petition was delivered to:

Secretary of the Air Force
Michael B. Donley
Secretary of the Navy
The Honorable Ray Mabus
Public Affairs Officer to the Commandant
LtCol Joe Plenzler
Secretary of the Army
The Honorable John McHugh
Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate

Restore funding to the military tuition assistance program.

    1. Amanda Harrison
    2. Petition by

      Amanda Harrison

      Morongo Valley, CA

April 2013


When tuition assistance for the military was threatened by the sequester, Amanda Harrison a wife of an active duty Marine launched a petition on calling for the program to be restored by Congress.

After tens of thousands of people signed her petition and sent messages to their representatives Congress passed a budget bill that forced the military to restore tuition assistance.

My husband is an active duty Marine. While he’s serving our country he’s also working to improve himself by attending classes to get a college degree. When he enlisted in the Marines he was promised tuition assistance -- money to help him finish his education -- and it was a big reason he decided to join.

In 2007, my husband was working towards his associate degree and was concerned about how he’d be able to afford to complete a bachelors program. When a recruiter called him just before graduation and told him that he could get his bachelors degree without going into debt, he decided to sign up. He knew that although his take home pay wouldn’t be a whole lot, the opportunity to get an education for free would make it worth it.

But now he’s been told that he and hundreds of thousands of other active duty service members like him are on their own because Congress couldn’t get their act together and resolve the sequestration mess.

When you take a program like this one away you might save a few dollars, but you break spirits and dreams. For many young service members this is the first opportunity they have ever had to continue their education and many see it as the most valuable benefit the military provides for them. Taking away this program also limits the ability for the military to recruit the most promising candidates.

I understand that the military budget needs to be cut because of sequestration, but education isn’t the place to cut. The amount spent on this program is a drop in the bucket for the government, but means so much to service members. It helps them while they are in the service and gives them a head start to find a job out in the civilian world.

Please honor your promise and restore funding to the military tuition assistance program.

*If you benefited from the military tuition assistance program please tell your story as a “reason for signing.” 

Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force
The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy
LtCol Joe Plenzler, Public Affairs Officer to the Commandant
The Honorable John McHugh, Secretary of the Army
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Please honor your promise and restore funding to the military tuition assistance program for the Army and Marines and do not suspend the program in other branches.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 40,000 signatures
    2. Follow us on Facebook!

      Amanda Harrison
      Petition Organizer

      This Facebook group is open to anyone that wants to stay up to date on the latest information. It was originally started for Marines but is now open to all branches of the military.

      Bring Back USMC Tuition Assistance

      This page was originally started for the Marines that lost their Tuition Assistance but has evolved...

    3. Interview with CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta

      Amanda Harrison
      Petition Organizer
      From tours to tuition assistance, the faces of the cuts

      Washington (CNN) - They rode busses from Burlington, North Carolina, with confirmation in hand for a tour inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But the fifth-grade students from Eastlawn Elementary only made it as far as the park outside of the White House gates.

    4. Reached 35,000 signatures
    5. Another News Story!

      Amanda Harrison
      Petition Organizer

      Our campaign gets a really great mention in an article by The News & Observer of Raleigh!

      Military halts popular tuition assistance to save money | Local/State |

      George Sendelbach II joined the N.C. National Guard at age 17 with his education in mind; he figured the military would help make him mature enough to succeed in college and help him pay for it. Sendelbach, 23 and still in the Guard, is now a year away from a bachelor's degree in criminology from N.C.

    6. Reached 30,000 signatures
    7. We are in the news!

      Amanda Harrison
      Petition Organizer

      Please share the story and petition with your friends and family!

      Popular stipend stripped for some U.S. military service members

      John Harrison was halfway to a bachelor's degree but financially strapped when Marine recruiters began calling him in 2007. His wife, Amanda Harrison, recalls their pitches: "Hey, there's all these different ways to finish your degree and you don't have to go into a lot of debt to do it."

    8. Reached 12,500 signatures
    9. Over 3,000 signatures!

      Amanda Harrison
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you everyone! I have contacted several news organizations and hope to hear from one of them soon. I also found an email address for the Public Affairs Officer to the Commandant so lets flood his inbox!

    10. Reached 3,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Jack Bates MENTOR, OH
      • over 1 year ago

      I served in the USAF from June 64 - Nov 67. I decided not to use my GI Bill. Many want to and need to use it. This is another example of our Government lieing to us. God bless all active and discharged service persons. You fat cats in Washington should be ashamed of yourselves. God Bless America. Not the ones stealing from us and lieing to us, that have never served a day in the service. I think even the ones that have served have forgotten why they are in the position they are in. They need to get their heads on straight and take care of the GI's.

    • Ashley Leverette BILOXI, MS
      • over 1 year ago

      So happy they restored it!!

    • Laura Kamps TUCSON, AZ
      • over 1 year ago

      My husband went into the Military with a promise of a stable job and benefits, now after serving he would like to take his ventures into Astronomy and he cannot accomplish his dreams after giving them up for our Country.

    • Don Speare GRAND FORKS, ND
      • over 1 year ago

      I served in the USN from 1975 to 1979. My dad was Navy through WWII, one of my brothers is retired Army (3 tours in Vietnam and another is a retired SEAL still working for the ARMY. Promises made to military and intel personnel need to be kept above all other government position promises. Putting your life on the line voluntarily trumps all other initiatives. Same goes for FBI and other govt. Law enforcement. All bureaucratic expenses need to take a back seat to those who put their lives at risk and give up more rights during service than other government positions. // Don Speare, Grand Forks, ND

      • over 1 year ago

      The Vets came when called, now we are calling upon you, especially the ones who did not serve yet make laws........


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