July 4, 2012

By Dr. Laura Palmer Noone, CEO, University of the Potomac

Flags decorate our homes and offices and everywhere is a sea of red, white and blue.  Backyard barbecues, picnics and fireworks are the order of the day.  Patriotic music wafts from bands marching in parades – it is the Fourth of July – our Independence Day.

This post isn’t going to be a history lesson on what happened over two centuries ago.  It isn’t even going to be about patriotism in general – but it is going to be about our brave men and women who have served in our armed forces.

I grew up in the sixties and saw protesters on the nightly news condemning our foreign policy for involvement in Viet Nam.  I remember vividly the pictures of wounded soldiers on the news followed closely by footage of protesters burning flags.  The irony was not lost on my then nor is it now.  The soldiers dying in that war were dying in order to protect the rights of the protesters to have free speech.  I wondered what it must have felt like to be one of those soldiers – they were giving a huge sacrifice for some people who didn’t seem to appreciate it.

I am personally rather a-political.  I don’t pretend to know if our foreign policy on occupation is right or wrong.  But on one point I feel very strongly- those that serve should be honored.  And that is why I am proud to say that Potomac offers a special military tuition rate to all active duty military (including reservists) as well as their spouses and dependents.  In addition, we are equally proud to provide the same military rate to our honorably discharged veterans.  The military rate is $200 per credit hour compared to our standard $490 per credit hour rate.

To all our military men and women – University of the Potomacsays “thank you for your service.”  And oh yes – Happy Fourth of July!!!