One joins the military for a myriad of reasons; family responsibility, promise of education or a chance to the see the world but all have a level of love and commitment for our country. With the current wars having been going on for the past twelve years, many of our current enlisted were barely in Kindergarten when the towers fell. Their lives have been lived in a country at war on foreign soil. Their nightly news and their conversations in American History touching on the 6600 service members that have been killed in combat yet they still sign the line and pledge their life in support of our country.
How is it that the country that they are willing to die for, the country that so many before them have died protecting, is no longer looking at their best interests. Recently through the Federal sequestration four of the five branches of our military lost their tuition assistance, the Navy decision is pending. Active-duty service members who wished to apply for up to $4,500 a year to attend college classes can no longer do so because of sequestration cuts. Troops who were already granted stipends will not lose their funding, but won't be able to apply for more. While many see this as no big deal, based on the GI Bill and for some the Post 911 GI Bill still being available, this is a huge blow to our military families. This is money that is counted on to further their military career, their spouses career and potentially their children’s future.
With military families moving every 2-4 years, often spouses have trouble finding employment therefore the service members give their GI Bill to their spouse and rely on tuition assistance for their own education. In addition the GI Bill is for post service education therefore if they choose to better themselves from day one they rely on the tuition assistance. Unfortunately now these men and women will have to apply for Pell Grants, Scholarships and student loans to further their education. The current average cost of college, a two year community college and transferring to an in-state university, is almost $74,000.
In a society where we value education, where many jobs require degrees how can we turn our backs on our military? More than 100,000 people that signed a petition on the White House website say that we cannot, Senators are rallying to overturn this decision as well. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina introduced an amendment Wednesday to a stopgap budget bill that would restore the program. It is with great hope this budget cut is seen as unnecessary and un-supporting of those willing to lay their life down to protect our country, our freedoms and the constitution with which the United States was founded on.