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.”