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Press Release

December 22, 2011

No. 11-35

Mokie Porter
301-585-4000, Ext. 146

VVA Efforts Pays Off: Secretary of Defense Postpones
Unfavorable MOU Re Tuition Assistance

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)–"As a result of persistent advocacy by Vietnam Veterans of America and other veterans service organizations and military service organizations, the Department of Defense has decided to extend, by 90 days, a deadline for a memorandum of understanding on tuition assistance. The current version appears to be a boon for those institutions caring most about profit and least about the education of their students who are veterans," said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America.

"VVA has fought hard, along with other service organizations, to ensure that this new generation of veterans, returning from Afghanistan, Iraq, and other post-9/11 hotspots, would get more generous benefits, benefits akin to those received by our fathers and mothers who came home, triumphant, after World War II," noted Rowan.

"When Vietnam veterans returned home, the educational benefits afforded to us were minimal. Even so, just as had happened after World War II, predatory institutions that cared far less about the education of our veterans and far more about profiting from the largesse of federal coffers, flourished," Rowan said.

"This is a reminder of the power of grassroots advocacy. Secretary Panetta's decision on behalf of the Department of Defense was, no doubt, influenced by the concerns we shared, the letters we wrote, and the reasoning we brought to bear on this issue. When one speaks truth to power, more times than not, they are heard," said Rowan.

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”


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