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Student Vets furious over tuition assistance cuts

WASHINGTON — Student Veterans of America angrily blasted military plans to suspend tuition assistance programs, calling it a shortsighted move that will hurt troops and veterans for years to come.

"It is utterly unacceptable that the first casualties of Congress' inability to act are education benefits for servicemembers,” Michael Dakduk, executive director of SVA, said in a statement. “The decisions of the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army set a dangerous precedent that educating our nation's servicemembers and veterans is an expendable option.

“This is not, and should never be, the case.”

Officials from the Army and Marine Corps this week announced they would end new enrollments to the tuition assistance program because of fiscal constraints and budget cuts mandated by sequestration.

Dakduk said he understood the fiscal realities facing the military, but said the programs are invaluable to keeping student servicemembers out of debt and preparing them for post-military careers.

The Air Force and Navy are also considering cuts to their education assistance programs.

UPDATE: The VFW isn't happy about the moves either. From their blog post this afternoon:  

Military TA is a professional development tool designed to improve the quality of military leaders through higher education. ...Instead of the military offering resources to develop leaders, they are now asking service members to reach into their own pockets or use personal benefits to make the military better.

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