Posted by: johnhourihan | March 14, 2013

GI tuition cut is not the sequester

John Harrison was halfway to a bachelor’s degree but financially strapped when Marine recruiters began calling him in 2007.
His wife, Amanda Harrison, recalls their pitches: “Hey, there’s all these different ways to finish your degree and you don’t have to go into a lot of debt to do it.”
That was perhaps true until last week, when the Marines told Sgt. Harrison, 26, that his college tuition would no longer be paid.
The Army, Air Force and Coast Guard followed suit by also suspending tuition assistance to tens of thousands of active-duty troops. A Navy spokesman told Yahoo News on Wednesday that possible changes to its tuition program would be announced by the end of the week. They blame it on the sequester.
That may be so, but this isn’t the first time something like this happened.
Back in 1965, I was going to a junior college on my sister’s dime. It didn’t sit right. What sat right was the GI Bill. If I entered the service for four years the recruiter promised me, I could get four years of compensation from the GI Bill.
Since I lived in Massachusetts I was also told I could attend a state school tuition free.
This seemed to me to be an acceptable deal.
Therefore, after three tours in Vietnam I figured I had earned both.
After the first year, however, the state reneged. The ever loving commonwealth said I could have either or.
I went into the bursars office at the school to find out about this. I was told I had heard true. I could have either the tuition or the $365 a month that I was using for books and gas and food, but no longer both.
“Hey, We made a deal. I went and got shot at for years and in return you are supposed to pay this. The state can’t just decide to not hold up its part of the bargain.”
Since there was nowhere to turn I ended up talking to a female student at the school who was on work study to pay for her tuition. She sat in this office overlooking the campus all day, filed and shuffled papers and now, to flush my argument down the stairs, she said, “ What the hell are you complaining about you get free tuition don’t you?”
That was it. She thought what she did was earning her way through school and what I had done was mooch free tuition from her school.
I tipped over all her file cabinets jus to give her something to do with the afternoon and left.
This has less to do with the sequester than it has to do with the attitude of people who believe that soldiers who get benefits during or after active duty are moochers, that it is OK for the government to promise anything to get young men and women to sign up and change their minds when it is time to pay up.
This is only being done to allow one side to blame the other side in this immoral political badminton game that is stinking up the entire country.



  1. What is the V.A. doing or saying about this? Anything?

    • Good question. I know the American Legion and the VFW are in outrage mode, but I don’t know about the VA.


  2. Who should we write to. If you give me the name I will help some veterans call or write Thanks for the info

    • I guess we could all write to Speaker of the House John Boehner at Office of the Speaker, H232 The Capitol, Washington, DC 20515 and tell him we would like the Republican party to stop stonewalling the president and do what is best for those who served their country in the armed services by ending these sequester cuts.


  3. How about getting F.LEE BAILEY or PERRY MASON or MARCIA CLARKE to sue the goverment for breach of contract!!!! What court do you think they should bring the complaint??? Military personel are hired right?,or are they bought? I remember being called govt. property. There are things you can cut legally and morally. There are some things you can do neither way!!

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