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OK Lawmaker Wants Tuition Assistance Termination Lifted

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LAWTON Okla_ 7News has new developments Thursday on the tuition assistance cuts, triggered by sequester and affecting the army, marines and air force.

Wednesday, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe joined colleagues in introducing an amendment that would stop the termination of the program. If nothing changes, military members will lose up to 4,500 dollars of tuition assistance per year.

7News Reporter Sara Whaley talked to one of many families in the Lawton/Fort Sill who area dealing with the reality that this program has been put on hold for now.

Victoria Anglin's husband and two sons have put their lives on the line for our freedom, and she spent the last 3 years with them all deployed at the same time. She said military families give a lot, and the least the army can do is pay for  the soldiers' education.

Bruce Anglin has spent 16 years in the army with 13 deployments. When he retires in the next year or two, he wants to start his own business as an RV mechanic.

"That's why we bought this RV," Victoria said. "It's an older one, so he could start going to classes and start learning how to work on it and fix it up."

He did start those classes, but his wife Victoria Anglin said without tuition assistance, they can't afford for him to continue.

"It's a lot of money out of pocket," Victoria said. "None of the military makes a big living, so it's tough on us."

Anglin's son, Rory Brown, is a 25-year-old wounded warrior. He's going to school to be a teacher or doctor and is planning to work two jobs this summer. That way, he can stay enrolled without having to take out loans. As a combat medic, Brown had a tough tour in Afghanistan, and because of that his, mom said for him, going to school is about more than just getting an education.

"He has bad days and good days," Victoria said, "But he has a lot more good days if he can stay busy, if he has school to go to."

So they just wait, and hope the program gets put back in place. Senator Jim Inhofe is trying to do just that. In a statement earlier he said,

"The president wants Americans to feel the pain of the arbitrary across the board budget cuts from sequestration," Inhofe said, "But to cut off promised education assistance for our service members when there are other lower priority spending programs to draw from is an injustice."

As for the Anglin family, they just hope the injustice Inhofe talks about will be fixed sooner rather than later.

"Once we retire, we are still young enough that we have to have something to do," Victoria said. "Retirement is not even a guarantee these days, so you have to have an income."

The amendment was just introduced Wednesday, so it still has a long road ahead before any decision could be reversed.

 

 

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