Tuesday, March 12, 2013

UPDATED - Budget cuts affecting military members!!!!!!

Hi everyone! I'm not sure if you've heard the news, but it has been passed down that the tuition assistance offered to military members has been cut. Basically, this means my husband, who's REQUIRED to carry a degree for advancement in his career field (as are most military personnel) must now bare that cost solely without the aid previously offered from the government. Yes everyday people get degrees and pay for it themselves, but this was a major incentive for a large portion of soldiers, airmen, and sailors (my husband included) when they enlisted and it's now being taken away. Additionally, most military members' pay falls below the poverty line, making it almost impossible for them to pay for expensive college courses and books without this help.

Here's what my husband says about it himself:

     So, some saddening news today. I actually went YESTERDAY to get started on my tuition assisance to get my classes scheduled, and then I learn that the budget cuts cancelled out TA for the Air Force.
     I get budget crisis and such, and if there was an estimated time of bringing it back, I would hold out hope, but as a service member forced to educate myself this is disheartening. Financially, as an Airman 1st Class, I'm below the poverty line, so taking classes out of pocket is pretty unlikely. Getting shafted on something I was supposed to get when enlisting, College Loan Repayment Plan, this just hits a little harder. 
     If you feel like trying to help service members keep their Tuition Assistance, please follow the petition link below. Obviously I cannot ask you from a MEMBER's perspective, but this is a requirement set forth for Air Force members to achieve AT LEAST an associates degree to advance through their careers, and would be a real shame to see disappear. 

Below are the links to the news article and the petition that must accumulate 100,000 signatures by April 7th in order to be considered.  Please pass the word along and support this cause. Many troops put their lives on the line daily, and the least we can do is show a little gratitude in the form of helping them better their lives, both IN their military career and after it.  Thanks so much!!

Samantha Cain

Air Force joins Army, Marines in cutting Tuition Assistance 



For those of you who were concerned or participated or just care about how service members of the armed forces are treated...

GOOD-Guy Senate has ordered reinstatement of T.A. - the "bill" has to pass through the House first, but this is a huge thing!  It means our voices were heard and a response was not only necessary but carried out.  People are complaining, of course that reinstating this will mean cuts in other places, like to our health benefits or extra perks on base (ie: theaters, commissary, etc.), but a friend of mine shared this on her FB and I think it's definitely food for thought and should be taken into consideration:

"Things that can be cut instead of Tuition Assistance:
1) New unnecessary aircraft. Sorry guys, we don't need to re-vamp the C-5, get a new special fighter when the F-22 still doesn't quite work right, and we don't need to research a new heavy bomber to replace the B-52.
2) Old unnecessary aircraft: e.g. C-5 and B-52
3) Junk food in the DeFac, cake, cookies, etc. We get shunned for eating it, just stop buying it.
4) New random uniforms. If I see another picture of a Four Star wearing a "prototype," that's never been seen before...
5) Paper copies of anything we're required to read. We're all living in the 21st century now, just send us the information digitally and save on that ream of paper (seriously, this is millions wasted annually).

TA is something that's massively important to the betterment of our armed forces and for our continued superiority. This, among so many other great programs the military has, is something that draws in the many talented individuals that populate our armed forces. Without a doubt, education is one primary element that places us well above other militaries in the world. Why take away such an important advantage? Providing a means and an opportunity for self-improvement and further education should be a paramount cornerstone to our nation's strategic initiative."

So... if you have ideas, write your congressmen and woman, make your voice heard!  The U.S. acquired the necessary 100,000 signatures over a month's span in only 1 WEEK (actually getting 116,298 total with still 17 days to spare)!  IF something matters enough to the right group of people, things can be done!

My husband thanks your efforts :)

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