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LoneStarMedic
03-13-2013, 07:34 AM
Glad to see the website back up and running, I thought for awhile there that these forums would be no more. There's lots going on in the world today, especially in terms of the fiscal mess our country is in right now It's just now started to affect me and I really don't think it's going to get any better.

Money has been tight for all of us since the 2008 fiasco, that's a given. But what's going on now is just putting a whole new face on 'cuts'. Left and right you see this and that getting cut or 'suspended' and the blows keep getting closer to home. I'm sure by now you all know that the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines have suspended their Tuition Assistance programs for those service members seeking college. I have to admit, the thought of losing this benefit crossed my mind but I didn't think it would happen so fast or so drastically. I use the TA, and have been using it for college as soon as I was eligible for upwards of 18 hours a semester. Now I'm screwed in terms of school.

My only options now are to hope for some decent FAFSA money for school or take out a loan for my last year in college. A couple friends of mine have said that some of their battle buddies are getting out now since the Army breached their contract when they initially offered them schooling but now cannot and will not pay for it (I'd stay in to at least finish my obligation, but that's just me.) Even my orders for AT are not set in stone as they are 'contingent upon appropriations from Congress and available funds'.

Outside of the military, even my hours at work got cut. I deliver pizzas for some extra money. I know it's not an ideal setting for someone who can and should be working at an EMT, being a Combat Medic, but it's a sad situation when you make more money delivering pizzas than being an EMT (which is the case in my area) and that's a whole different discussion right there.

All of these cuts beg the question as to our future in the Army, and the future of the Army in general. I'm even half expecting the Army to say to me at my completion of my Bachelor's Degree just before I am about to commission: "Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, but we don't have the slots or money to commission you right now, we'll call you later". Maybe that's a bit extreme, but a lot of things I thought would never happen already have.

That's my two cents on the issue, sorry for the long post. Guess I'm catching up for lost time

CWO Sharkey
03-14-2013, 06:36 AM
Yes, its disheartening when a benefit that existed is no longer available but it was never stipulated in a contract that TA is a guarantee. So there is no breach of contract. It is a recruiting tool to entice people. I came in when TA was only 75% and 90% once you were an NCO.

You are in better circumstances than the AD Soldier since you are in the Guard. The Guard has their state TA programs which still exist depending on state and state colleges that waive the tuition for Guard or perhaps PS members who are residents of the state.

Next month, I earn my master's and I had to pay for the last two classes out of pocket which cost me over 2K. Yes, I am a CW2 that is soon to get paid at the 24 year service bracket, so I make good money but I still have a lot of expenses and a family that I support. I have a mortgage, car payment, school payments for my kids and other expenses. I am no longer the college, single guy of yesteryear but I have a good budget and stick to it. I have no credit card debt and my interest rates are very low for my house and car. My car loan is 1.4 percent.

Keep plugging away and researching on available monies from other sources.

Good luck.

Exo1
04-02-2013, 01:57 AM
Tough times all around... +2 to what the Chief said.. TA was not a contractual right and to keep on creating angles for employment, sources of finance come only with smart thinking and a hard working ethic!!.. Those around here are lacking in neither so it will work out bro, so just stick with it!!

Exo

CWO Sharkey
09-15-2013, 10:22 AM
Hope everyone is doing well for the weekend.