What Next?

Via The Next Hurrah, we read about how one of the few reasons left for a poor person to join the military is going bye-bye.

The U.S. Army's Tuition Assistanceship Program provides funds for soldiers to pursue an education, whether online or in classrooms around the world.

However, the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars might put an end to that, at least in South Korea. Stars and Stripes reports:

Tuition money for servicemembers still could be in jeopardy despite officials’ announcement this week that funds for the military’s free tuition program will be available for the next term.

That’s because the U.S. Army has no money budgeted for the last two terms of the fiscal year, which includes late summer and fall classes in South Korea, according to Dr. Gary Hunt, director of the University of Maryland’s college program for the U.S. military in South Korea and Singapore.

“It has never been like this before,” said Hunt, who has run the program from Yongsan for seven years. “I would hate to think we’re going to be doing this every semester.”

This is money for active duty soldiers--we're not even talking about Reservists or the Guard here.

I almost joined the military seven years ago, and it was for one reason--money for school. I'm glad I didn't for reasons beyond this debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan,and I'll gladly pay back what I took out in student loans instead. But those are going to be drying up, not to mention Pell grants--the military is the last best chance for college for a huge number of people in this country, and if that's taken away, we'll see despair on multiple levels. How would you like to be faced with the choice of being unable to go to school, unable to get a job, or go to fight in a war where there's a pretty good chance you'll be either killed or significantly injured? Not much of a choice, is it?

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