Military Spouse Career Program Put On Hold

Thousands of men and women married to soldiers at Fort Campbell and around the country feel they’ve been abandoned by the government. The Department of Defense just put a hold on one of its programs, leaving them uncertain about their futures.

"There are a lot of angry wives out there that do feel stood up," said Jennifer Gilliam.

She isn’t talking about a man; she’s talking about the U.S. government.

"I mean, they have my e-mail address. They have the capability to inform us," said Gilliam.

She was one of thousands of participants in the military’s spouse career advancement accounts program. It offered military spouses $6,000 toward education and career advancement — that is, until recently, when it simply stopped.

"It would be different if they gave out some notice, but just to stop it or if they said, ‘As of this date,’ you know, ‘no more funds will be available because of the popularity,’ but it was just stopped completely," Gilliam said.

Austin Peay State University got wind of the news and e-mailed their students.

"I actually found out about it from my counselor at the University of Phoenix," said Gilliam.

She’s working on an online bachelor’s degree in business management but now has no way to pay for it

"We’re all in the same boat right now," said Gilliam. "In fact, I just recently scrambled to file for some loans, because my next class starts in April, so I’ve got to somehow find some money to pay for that come April 6."

The Department of Defense posted this explanation on its Web site: "The pause resulted from an unseen, unexpected spike in enrollments." It apologized for the inconvenience and said it hopes to announce its long-term strategy soon.

"I really don’t want to stop my courses, so I may end up just having to put it on the credit card, unfortunately," said Gilliam.

APSU is encouraging its students who were depending on the Mycaa program to hurry up and fill out financial aid or student loan forms.


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