Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Support The Troops. Send Them To College!

Like my good friend watertiger, I, too, had a dad who served in World War II (he joined up right out of high school and spent the war in the Pacific) and then came back to take advantage of the original GI Bill. He was the first in his family of English/Welsh immigrants to go to college and, even with the GI Bill, he worked his way through college, cooking breakfast, as his store of hysterical stories assured that I'd remember, for a women's dorm. My dad was a journalism major, back in the days before spellcheck, and I still remember him telling me how the dean called him in and told him that he was going to have to learn to spell if he wanted a journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He must have learned, somehow, because he fed a family of five kids on nothing but his writing, sent all of us to college, left money for my mom to live on after he died, and left me enough inheritance for a lovely diamond dragonfly brooch.

My Democratic Senator, Jim Webb, has proposed that America, again, begin awarding our soldiers a full GI Bill. After dad's first-ever-in-his-family college degree, I stumbled my way into a masters degree and a juris doctor degree, largely still running on the strength of the impetus from Dad's GI Bill's push forward. Son, whose granddad helped move him into Princeton, earned degrees from that school and a law degree. We've paid commensurate taxes ever since. Goddess knows what G/Son will do. It was a good investment that America made in the late 1940s. It would be a good investment here at the end of aughts. Course, as watertiger notes, Republicans like Five-Deferments-Dick and John Sideny McCain are opposed to that expense. Fuckers. Why do Republicans hate the troops.


Anne Johnson said...

My dad went to college on the G.I. Bill too. In fact, his whole generation of hillbilly cousins did the same -- and they all got rich (except Dad).

I thought vets still got full G.I. Bill college tuition. Why am I not surprised that I'm wrong?

Sia said...

You know the old saying, "Nothing is too good for our troops, so nothing is what they'll get".

This is the least we can do and, as you point out, the entire nation will benefit as a result.

My Dad could not take advantage of the G.I. bill when we got out of the navy after WWII. His own father (a soldier and coal miner) had black lung, and my Dad went right to work to help support their family. But, he did go to night school for many years to get an engineering degree, and my mother went to college on a scholarship. Both of them drilled into us how important it was to get an education. I had my chance (I worked both full and part time through college and grad school) and I want these brave men and women to have their chance, as well, especially now when schooling is so damned expensive.

How do we expect to compete in the world market as a country if we aren't producing well educated citizens?

They served their country at great risk and sacrifice, now let them have their chance at making a good life for themselves. And to hell with anyone who wants to take that from them.


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