But the proof will be in the pudding:
The new governor pledged to be attentive to the needs of veterans and said he would use returning veterans as a recruitment tool to lure industries to locate or expand in North Carolina. "I hope to have veterans be part of our economic recovery," he told more than 400 people who gathered Saturday night at the Mid-town Hilton.
Considering that your Republican pals in the General Assembly ignored the pleas of the Ft. Bragg Garrison Commander and went forward with a bill helping loan sharks take advantage of our troops, you may have a little difficulty backing up that promise. And so far, they've completely ignored this problem:
Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the federal government will pick up the full in-state cost for any honorably discharged service member wishing to attend a public college or university. But because the often intricate rules governing residency differ from state to state, and even within university systems, many veterans face a bewildering battle to exercise the benefits they've already fought for.
"It is part of our contractual agreement when we join the military," says Perez, who filed a $10 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the University of North Carolina Board of Governors after one of its schools denied her resident status. "It's been paid for - with blood and sweat and tears and deployments."
According to Student Veterans of America, nine states have passed legislation to offer in-state tuition rates for veterans, regardless of how long they've lived there. Five other states have legislation pending, says Mike Dakduk, the group's executive director.
Note to our new Governor (or his staff): Many of the people who are members of the BlueNC community are veterans, including both James and myself. Veterans don't take kindly to politicians (especially non-veterans) who make promises in order to gain our support, and then turn their backs on us.
Fixing this tuition thing should be at the top of your list, now that you've decided to become a "friend of veterans". We will be watching.
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