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Operation Family Shield extended

The Alabama State Board of Education recently announced an extension of its tuition refund and waiver policy through the 2004 summer term for spouses and dependents of Alabama National Guard members and reservists called to active duty.

The program is available only at the state’s public two-year community and technical colleges, including Lurleen B. Wallace Community College and Reid State Technical College.

The Board initially approved Operation Family Shield for the 2003 summer and fall semesters to provide scholarships and other services to the families of citizen solders affected by Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom and the global war on terrorism.

Operation Family Shield provides refunds to Alabama service men and women who paid tuition prior to being activated as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The program also provides Operation Family Shield Scholarships to cover tuition costs for the spouses and dependents of Alabama service men and women who have been activated as part of current U.S. military operations.

&uot;The Alabama College System remains committed to supporting Alabama’s citizen soldiers and their families,&uot; said Chancellor Roy Johnson. &uot;The institutions of the Alabama College System are local, so they form a natural delivery network for counseling and support services. I join the State Board of Education in hoping these scholarships will provide relief and assistance to allow the dependents of our citizen soldiers to continue their education at Alabama’s public two-year colleges during this trying time.&uot;

Alesia Stuart, the Associate Dean of Community Development at Reid State said she is proud to be able to offer the program.

&uot;Reid State Technical College has served numerous veterans over the years and it is with great pride that we offer this assistance to the families of the military

that are serving our country,&uot; she said.

&uot;This is a small token of support for those who have dedicated their time to ensure our safety and freedom.

We look forward to assisting anyone interesting in utilizing this scholarship opportunity.&uot;

These scholarships are available after all other financial assistance has been applied. To date, Alabama’s public two-year colleges have awarded 126 scholarships under Operation Family Shield. The 126 scholarships have an estimated value of nearly $60,000.

For more information about eligibility, contact LBWCC at 382-2133 or Reid State at (251) 578-1313.