Saturday, March 9, 2013

US Airman Lowrie: Tuition assistance crucial!

US Airman Sgt Angelo Lowrie with his wife Emily
Here's the letter I sent to Senator Rubio in regards to tuition assistance. Feel free to use it as a template to send to your representative as well. Our education is important.

Senator Rubio,

I am an active duty airmen enlisted in the Air Force, currently stationed at Randolph Air Force Base, TX. This email is in regards to an email I have received containing links (see below attachments) from a co-worker that states that the Marine Corps will be cutting the Tuition Assistance program for their active duty members. They will need to dip into their G.I. Bill to fund for their education or pay out of pocket. Other services of the Armed Forces may follow suit due to cuts in the DoD budget caused by the sequestration. To take the tuition assistance away from members of the Marine Corps, and potentially other branches, is a travesty and should not be allowed because the education of our military members is crucial to our nation's readiness and economy.

Every day, thousands of military members not only accomplish their primary missions in regards to their duty position, but they are also finishing assignments for higher education classes. Classes that further education, enhance critical thinking, assist with ingenuity, and furthers on the job training. We can all agree that a smarter force is a better one, but cutting this program will severely reduce the incentive for military members to pursue higher education. Further rationale for not cutting the program includes the fact that the current unemployment rate for veterans is 9.4 percent compared to 7.7 percent for civilians. Allowing members to pursue their degree while active will help prepare them for the civilian workforce, give them a better chance to be hired, and further contribute to the economy and the country. Cutting the Tuition Assistance program, a program that military personnel have EARNED through each individual's respective sacrifices, should be avoided.

This is something both sides of the aisle can agree on. I am writing this to ask you and other Florida Senators and Representatives to please talk to leaders in Congress and the Armed Forces in order avert this decision and help our troops better themselves, our military, and most of all, our nation.

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