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Broken promises?

October 28, 2010

I attended AUSA on Monday – and while it was interesting (more on that on my “other” blog) I was left with a feeling that we’ve heard it all before. I heard, again, that family support programs aren’t going to be cut. Then on Wednesday, I get a call from the Education Center on our post – I am scheduled to take 2 exams there – but they need to reschedule because all the contractors have been let go, and the permanent staff? they are cut to 15 hours a week, down from 40! They can’t proctor exams, they can’t do the CLEP exams, they can barely do anything for family members and not much for the soldiers either! They have cut all but one of the counselors, and soldiers wait for hours to see him. FORGET getting counseling about future jobs/schools if you are a family member.

Appalling! absolutely Appalling.  Tell me how this isn’t cutting family programs?  The education center is there to help soldiers and their families with furthering their education, with job skills, with transitioning to civilian life as well.  Are they supposed to trust a counselor with a certain school to tell them that if they want to move on and up, to get more qualifications, that if they go to a certain type of school, no reputable higher program will even consider them?  I called the MSW program I hope to join, and was told flat out that if I was considering a certain for profit school, I would have a difficult time being taken seriously, that no matter what I had been told, the certification was not up to their standards.  I had to do that, because I couldn’t get an appointment at the Ed Center for weeks, and that was before the layoffs!  Can you imagine it now?  Can you imagine the spouses who are going to fall for the ads, the very nice counselors on the phone willing to help you with all the paperwork etc, from a school that costs twice as much as the State School that may have all you need in an online forum as well?  I can.  I almost did, and I’m older and I thought wiser than some.

Rant over.  getting off soapbox.  carry on.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 8:08 am

    That’s so discouraging. I know several folks who are stuck because they either don’t meet the eligibility criteria, are stuck in the middle of an expensive degree program or just can’t make the system work. While I understand that budgets are tight, there were commitments made to military family members — so it’s really tough to swallow. Fingers crossed that this is just a hiccup and the powers that be can help us out on this one.

  2. October 28, 2010 12:44 pm

    I don’t know the current status of active duty family program funding, but I’ve recently been told by someone at the NGB at the Pentagon that they are looking at a 20% budget decrease. Clearly, that’s going to have an impact. But then, Guard families NEVER got ALL of the programs/services available to active duty families – even during the mobilization/deployment of a loved one. Which, if in fact the soldier/sailor/Marine on Title 10 orders is legally entitled to all of the same pay and benefits as regular active duty troops, raises the question of a violation of the federal code…The ability to access/utilize funds, programs and services for spouse education and professional development is but one example.

  3. November 1, 2010 9:18 am

    I totally thought the family forums were nothing more than just more smoke blown up our collective behinds. After 10 years, I’ve heard all this before. Actions speak louder than words. I won’t believe any of the rhetoric until I see the action. And yes, the Guard is ALWAYS the redheaded stepchild of the Army. They’ll tell you you’re entitled to all the same services – IF you can get to the nearest post. IF that post offers them. IF the wait list on that post isn’t longer than your soldier’s deployment. It’s still all crap if you ask me.

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