Veterans and ROTC students meet with lawmakers to discuss challenges

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 11:51 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Veterans and ROTC members had the chance to speak with lawmakers Thursday to discuss the challenges they face and what those elected officials were doing about it.

Senator Joni Ernst and Congresswoman Ashley Hinson spoke to the dozens of service members at the University of Dubuque.

Cadet Trevor Bush and Cadet Eliana Berry are both Seniors at the University. While they said the government provided support for the school, the dollars weren’t enough to cover how expensive college life has become.

“This year, when we looked at the course fees that we got, our Pell grant was nearly cut in half,” said Cadet Berry.

That means going to college while fulfilling ROTC requirements made it more difficult to afford the necessities.

“Especially the cost of living going up, like gas and groceries, we all have to pay for it,” said Cadet Bush.

The pair also worried about how this problem could impact the recruitment and retention of future ROTC members.

“The federal Pell grant helps them to ensure that they pursue a career in ROTC, but if you can’t pay for the first year, it’s hard to come back from that,” said Cadet Berry.

While the two cadets continue their path to serve the country, they said this opportunity to advocate for themselves and others was yet another lesson.

“I was curious to hear what they were doing on behalf of Congress,” said Cadet Bush. “It’s not always easy to follow that.”