Hey yall I have something driving me nuts and wanted to write about it. The Tillman Scholarship, one of the most prestigious scholarships a veteran can obtain, kills me. Pat Tillman was an enlisted man. What’s more, he had his degree and opted to be enlisted, knowing it is a more difficult life. Enlisted make up 80% of servicemembers. So why the f u c k does the foundation award scholarships 50-50 E&O? That is not equal, what it is is disproportionally denying enlisted applications just to keep this ratio. So people who already have their degree and work experience can get another degree. This bottleneck exacerbates itself when you look at enlisted recipients of the award: while many of the Officer recipients had standard careers in service, enlisted recipients are almost overwhelmingly from special programs or from a minority like being trans.
One of the reasons I separated after a decade was fatigue of the classism. That those that could afford to go to college, get a degree in English, and commission get a stunningly better life. This policy of the PT Foundation is just one more mechanism in which this remains true.
I never knew Pat Tillman, and he was dead before I even joined. I read Where Men Win Glory two months before I left for basic. I can’t speak to “what he would have wanted” but the man I read about, and read from in his diary entries seems like just the kind of man that would’ve called this for what it is: some bullshit.