Military Friendly Educational Institutions 

By Paula Green 

         It is back to school time!  There are thousands of military servicemen and women who return home from active duty and decide to further their education. Fortunately, there are over 11,000 higher educational institutions that are recognized as being military-friendly. These facilities support active-duty members, veterans, spouses, dependents of deceased veterans in any of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. When pursuing higher education, here’s what service person should look for  

         ACE (American Council on Education)– institutions that participate in ACE are experienced at translating prior military learning experiences into college credit. Additionally, ACE will provide recommendations for formal courses and occupations based on an individual’s military training and experience.  

       Change of Order Withdrawal– Active duty members may be called to serve. Before enrolling in a school, check into their change of order withdrawal policies. Distance Learning and Online Degree Programs are also a possibility. 

        College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a group of standardized tests administered by the College Board. Military members and eligible spouses are eligible to take CLEP tests. They may also have them paid for either by GI Bill benefits or through the DANTES program. 

        DANTES External (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support)– DANTES provides education alternatives to service members who cannot attend classes or schoolsdue to work schedules or active duty. 

        Military Discounts– if it genuinely is a military-friendly university/college, then service members should receive a discount on their education.  Discounts can vary; some go up to 50% off.  

        Military Tuition Assistance – is a program available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve Component service members. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides it.  TA can lessen a service person’s financial concerns considerably. 

        Military Scholarships  similar to Military Discounts this varies greatly by each school. Some schools also offer free textbooks and supplies for varying military affiliations. State Veterans Education Benefits – many states provide additional veterans with education benefits. Check to see if any benefits are provided within your state. 

        Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) helps service members and veterans meet their education and training costs with monthly benefit payments. It provides over $71,000 in cash and numerous support programs. 

         MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts) Member– this program is for military spouses and provides up to $4,000 (over two years) of financial assistance for military spouses who are pursuing a license, certification or Associates degree in a portable career field and occupation. 

        Yellow Ribbon Program – to receive benefits, service members must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This includes: those who served 36 months on active duty. It also includes Purple Heart recipients with an honorable discharge and any amount of service. 

       Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)– unemployed Veterans who are 35 to 60 years old may be eligible to receive up to 12 months of free retraining assistance at community colleges, technical schools and colleges offering only AA degrees may.  

          For more information on military-friendly educational institutions, visit 



Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy 

By Paula Green 

       The Western Allied troops of America, Britain and Canada banded together as they landed in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.  The Normandy Invasion, also called Operation Overlord or D-Day, ranks as the boldest and most successful large-scale invasion in military history.  With Hitler’s armies in control of most of mainland Europe, the Allied forces knew that a successful infiltration of the continent was central to winning the war.   [Read more…]

Blessed Francis Seelos Academy Students Welcome Home Veterans 

        A group of Blessed Francis Seelos Academy students, families and teachers participated in Honor Flight Pittsburgh on April 27.  Honor Flight Pittsburgh recognizes American War Veterans for their sacrifices and achievements.  They transport vets via deluxe motor coach to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifices.   [Read more…]

A Retired Naval Officer to Speak at a Commencement

Cynthia B. Piccirilli M.D. 

Local Veterans Events 
Veterans to be Honored and New Housing Assistance for Homeless Veterans 

By Paula Green 

         La Roche University will welcome a special military guest during its graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 11.  Cynthia B. Piccirilli M.D. will be the commencement speaker at the college’s graduation ceremony, which will take place at 10 a.m., in the Kerr Fitness & Sports Center.  Dr. Piccirilli is a retired captain in the United States Navy and also as a former head of neurosurgery at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. She is an inaugural member of La Roche’s Distinguished Alumni Circle graduating summa cum laude in 1979.    [Read more…]

The American Legion Celebrates Its 100th Birthday 

By Paula Green 

         This month a special military organization will celebrate its centennial birthday.  The American Legion, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, was founded on March 15, 1919.  It is the nation’s largest wartime veteran’s service organization.  When the American Legion was chartered by Congress one hundred years ago, it was sanctioned as a patriotic veterans organization.    [Read more…]