a sailor writes

June 24, 2009

Dear Russ,

While the war in Iraq moves towards a conclusion and the war in Afghanistan becomes the main front on the War on Terrorism, thousands of enlisted military veterans from Michigan are looking for a college to enroll in and complete their degree.

Despite the opportunity for Michigan colleges and communities to take advantage of local service members coming back home with huge GI benefits, many of our best PUBLIC Universities are turning those service members away and making it clear their college credits are NOT welcome!

The University of Michigan Ann Arbor & Dearborn campuses, Michigan State University and Henry Ford Community College all refuse to participate in the Service member Opportunity College program. SOC helps service members, who frequently deploy without any notice to defend our freedom, keep the college credits they earn online or through CLEP tests while serving all over the world. SOC also gets the Universities to accept nationally recognized college credits that military service members earn through the course of specialized military training which is relevant to their degree.

Certainly, with tough economic times like these, communities like ours in Dearborn could use a "boost." The $86,000 for tuition, books and fees that the GI bill now provides, as well as the cost-of-living allowances that pump money into local businesses and real estate, all add up to a lot of money that COULD be coming into our community.

So the question is: Why aren't we doing it?

Please, call your state senators and congressmen and ask them why the universities YOU PAY FOR with YOUR tax dollars aren't supporting our troops. Enough is enough!

Brian, USN