Pentagon Resumes Military-Spouse Program - NBC 7 San Diego

Pentagon Resumes Military-Spouse Program



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    The Department of Defense is resuming a program offering military spouses money for college or career training.

    Local officials and service members are certain to welcome news that the Department of Defense's has resumed a program that offered military spouses as much as $6,000 for college.

    The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts  program was abruptly suspended a program last month. The federal government said at the time that there was too much demand after nearly 100,000 people were enrolled and another 38,000 had applied for the program.

    On Thursday, an official from Rep. Susan Davis' office said she had heard from military officials that the MyCAA program was being re-started on Saturday and that notifications were going out to spouses immediately.

    "A review of MyCAA that was originally supposed to take two to three months has been done in less than a month, thanks to pressure from the spouses, [and] Congresswoman Susan Davis taking their concerns directly to the Pentagon, and members of the media highlighting the issue," Davis' spokesman Aaron Hunter said in a statement issued Thursday. "The MyCAA program will resume on Saturday, March 13. Hopefully, the impact on the spouses in the program has been minimal."

    Mary Meacham wrote to NBCSanDiego after she became aware of the decision

    "I am literally shaking and tearing up over this," Meacham wrote. "You always hear that one person can make a difference ... well, when each of those 'one people' get together, nothing is impossible! The Department of Defense actively listened to our issues regarding the halt and responded appropriately. I have never been involved in a movement that had such groundswell and such passion behind it."

    Military spouses told NBCSanDiego in February that they need the aid from the military because relocating hurts their careers. More than 1,200 military spouses joined a Facebook group to vent their outrage and share letters to their congressmen. Others had proposed a protest rally in Washington or Norfolk, Va.

    MyCAA started in March 2009. Spouses of active-duty military service members and reservists are able to apply for the funds, which are used to pay for college tuition or costs associated with professional licenses and certificates.

    Cindy Gronbach at the San Diego office of the military support group Operation Homefront told the North County Times in February that the program is vital for many military wives.

    "Military families move all the time and it's hard to start over," she said at the time. "As a former military spouse, I know that having a degree or certificate that can transfer with you is very important."

    At the end of February, the Department of Defense suggested alternatives to paying for college, such as the new GI bill, but military spouses say that option is limited.