Target: Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense
Goal: Bring back Army tuition assistance
The Army is the largest branch of the military. Over 500,000 people, mostly young, are in active duty. But now the Army, along with the Marine Corps, has pulled its tuition assistance due to sequestration cuts.
For many of these young people, the Army was not only a promising career for the civil service aspect, but for the tuition assistance that furthered their prospects in the civilian world. In 2012, soldiers got up to $4,500 per fiscal year, or $250 per credit hour, for tuition assistance. Enlisted soldiers tend to be from poorer rural backgrounds and sometimes the inner city. The Army is the best opportunity they have to go to college 100% free and avoid predatory student loans.
Meanwhile, Congress just gave themselves a raise. Senators and House representatives made $174,000 a year before the raise, and most of them were millionaires already. Cabinet members and other higher-ups earn even more. When you factor in all of the money that goes to, say, cut rate classes for prisoners and high-end government salaries and benefits, the $4,500 a year could still come from somewhere.
Please urge the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, to continue ensuring soldiers’ futures to thank them for ensuring America’s.
Dear Mr. Hagel,
We’d like to ask the Department of Defense to reinstitute tuition assistance programs for the Army. Many young men from rural areas join enlisted ranks of the Army hoping to ensure a better future for themselves and often their families. This is the best way they can get college tuition paid. We don’t think $4,500 a year is lavish at all. It costs about $60,000 a year to keep people in prison in some states, mostly for nonviolent crimes.
Soldiers need a college education to be gainfully employed after their service is over. This is especially true for wounded soldiers who are unable to do physical labor and often have to pay for their own treatment.
We believe that people who are willing to risk their lives for this country deserve as much gratitude as possible from it, which would certainly include college tuition. We urge you to continue tuition assistance for the Army and for all other branches of the military through sequestration and after.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: US Army Africa via Wikimedia Commons