Monday, May 05, 2008

The Old Bait 'n' Switch

How do I put this without being totally coarse?

Oh yeah, I've got it. The government fucks the veterans so you don't have to.

How many join the military assuming they will get a free education after they have fulfilled they're obligation to serve? Most is my guess and they are so very wrong.
When I was sitting in a humvee in Baghdad two years ago, we had plenty of time to talk. While the conversations varied between musing about the morning's chow, the stifling heat or what type of truck we were going to buy when we got home, one theme remained constant. Everyone said they were going home to get that college degree that Uncle Sam promised us when we enlisted.

Last December, a year and a half late, I finally graduated. I still laugh when people ask me whether the military paid for my education. When I tell them how meager the actual education benefits are, their shock always make me feel like I just told a child that there is no such thing as the tooth fairy. Unfortunately, many of my battle buddies realized the hard way that the GI Bill isn't what it used to be. The education benefits for troops are so low that they either never enrolled, or dropped out of school because they couldn't handle working two part-time jobs or living back home on Mama's couch to afford to attend school.

My fellow veterans are struggling because the current GI Bill is woefully inadequate. Service members are forced to take out loans just to start classes, and then wait months to get any reimbursement. Even then, the benefit only covers 60 to 70 percent of the cost of a four-year public university. For expensive private schools, the GI Bill is barely a drop in the bucket. And every year, the GI Bill is losing value because education benefits have failed to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of education . . . .

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