Story and photo by Rick Scavetta
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern Public Affairs
Sgt. 1st Class Pamela Frank relied upon Army tuition assistance to help fund her education. But she knew the program might not last.
In fact, Frank was discussing proposed TA cuts with a friend when an email alerted her to it stopping on March 8.
“We knew the day was coming,” Frank said. “And then, it’s already gone.”
Fortunately, for many service members, the government voted in late-March to reinstate TA funding. Army education centers are awaiting guidance on when that will occur.
Meanwhile, U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern held a workshop for service members to explore alternative funding sources, such as grants, veterans’ benefits and scholarships. Frank, a medical NCO at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, was among several KMC members who took part.
The recent situation motivated her to speed up her education timeline, she said. “It definitely lit a fire. I need to get it done,” Frank said. “Get it while you can.”
The Navy didn’t cut TA. Still, Chief Petty Officer Larry Saltz attended the March 29 event at Kleber Kaserne. Funding is available for him and fellow Sailors serving one-year tours at LRMC’s Deployment Warrior Medical Management Center, he said.
“There are sources to explore besides TA, so they don’t have to fund education from their own pockets,” Saltz said. “There’s the Wings Over America Scholarship. That’s one I didn’t know about.”
TA could likely be reinstated soon, sometime between April and June, said Ramona Kausch, the garrison education services officer. Meanwhile, alternative funding — money that can be used with TA — can be explored with education center staff, she said.
“Talk with a professional about obtaining dollars for your education,” Kausch said. “It takes about 30 minutes to find what and how much you’re eligible for.”