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Tag: spouses


Local links, March 31

I’m back from a few days off. If you haven’t read it, check out my Sunday stories about the Stryker vehicle. In the main story, I covered a bit of the history and what folks across the military (from joes to generals) and Congress think about the vehicle today. In a sidebar, I wrote about future modifications to the vehicles. And you should check out the print edition: It’s got plenty of cool graphics, a box descrbing the 10 variants and a timeline of the Strykers vis-à-vis Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Other local links:

Military spouses

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Anger over handling of spouse tuition program

For all the spouses of service members stationed at the U.S. consulate in Cape Town, South Africa, this could be your new college

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has added her voice to the growing levels of discontent over the off-and-then-kind-of-back-on status of the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program.

The program helps pay tuition for military spouses so they can better land jobs – something that’s not always easy given the frequent moves.

The Department of Defense abruptly ended the program last month, saying there wasn’t enough money to match the unexpectedly large demand. But on Thursday, the Pentagon announced the 136,583 spouses already enrolled in the program would again be eligible to receive the tuition payments.

The release didn’t mention the countless other spouses out there who want to sign up. Some had already enrolled in college but read the announcement as they went online to sign up for the program.

“This pretty much means I can’t go to college now,” said Denise Davio, whose husband serves with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. “We just can’t afford for me to go at the same time as him.”

Murray, in a letter addressed to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said called the management of the program “extremely disappointing.”

“The spouses of our active duty military also bear a significant burden of service as well, and frequent moves often make it hard for them to gain the skills and training they need to advance in their careers,” she wrote. “This is especially devastating during these tough economic conditions.”

She also expressed her concern about “the potential for future spikes in enrollment to disrupt services, as well as about how the Pentagon will pay back enrollees who have already paid tuition while the program was shutdown.”

Murray told Gates he should have asked Congress for additional funding when it became clear the program was going broke.

Her full letter is after the jump:
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