Fotos Stock e Unesp
WASHINGTON, DC – The Brazilian citizen Samuel Sales Saraiva, a former stand-in Federal Deputy, resident in the capital of the U.S.A., has sent Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and New York Republican Congressman George Santos a proposal suggesting that academic credit be awarded to military personnel, in recognition of the knowledge obtained during training and performance in the field of defense.
Conveying the information today, 29, on WhatsApp, Samuel pondered, “I believe our country can benefit its own too,” he points out. Samuel is at the same time trying to gain the attention of Brazilian legislators and have them consider the opportunity to value and recognize the military men and women who “in adverse conditions dedicate themselves to carrying out the mission of guaranteeing peace, freedom, and national sovereignty, with little recognition and much sacrifice.”
Son of the late Captain Jairo Saraiva, a former Brazilian combatant in World War II, he said he believes that such an initiative corrects academic inequality and rewards merit.
PERMANENT FEDERAL FUND
The letter suggests the creation of a permanent federal fund for the expansion of scholarships for low-income students, to be conceded by the U.S. Department of Education directly to universities and institutions of higher education that voluntarily award meritorious academic credit recognizing the universal knowledge acquired during training and performance of military service.
In summary, it would mean to grant permanent patriotic academic credit to all military personnel who have completed contracts with the Armed Forces (NAVY, MARINES, ARMY, AIR FORCE, NATIONAL COAST GUARD) and wish to pursue a college, master’s, or doctoral degree.
The initiative consists of considering knowledge acquired during military service as meritorious school credit (included in the GPA calculation). The proposal aims to honor military personnel who have fought to maintain our peace and freedom, and to eliminate the disadvantaged position of these young people in relation to those who have not served and have been able to dedicate themselves solely to their studies.
President Joe Biden
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC – 20500
Olney, MD November 24, 2022
Dear Mr. President of the United States of America:
This proposal suggest to grant a permanent patriotic academic credit to all military personnel who have completed their contracts with the Armed Forces (NAVY, MARINES, ARMY, AIR FORCE, NATIONAL GUARD and COAST GUARD) and wish to pursue a college, or master’s or doctoral degree. This initiative recognizes the knowledge acquired during military service as meritorious school credits, to be included in the GPA calculation, with the objectives of honoring the young people who have fought to secure our peace and freedom, and of addressing the academic inequality between these young people and those who have had the opportunity to focus solely on academic studies.
The best way to honor the memory of the thousands of young men and women who have been sacrificed serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, in the fight for freedom, is to make sure that those who have survived the armed conflicts have their merits acknowledged.
Granting academic credit for all military personnel who have completed their contracts with the Armed Forces and wish to pursue a college, master’s or doctoral degree would establish a fair compensation for their struggle and their risky and unconditional dedication to the maintenance of peace and freedom. The credit, to be analyzed, regulated, and established by technical criteria, should be valid in all educational institutions and in any academic area, in order to minimize the inequality between students who have not been to war and our military personnel. In some countries such arrangements already exist for the benefit of members of the diplomatic corps. The young men and women who have served in the armed forces may not have obtained knowledge in traditional academic institutions, but they have surely obtained a diversified and ample universal knowledge while carrying out their military missions — an acquired knowledge that deserves recognition for being undeniably meritorious.
To date, it is common for our military to have their academic applications refused multiple times for not having accumulated enough credits or not having a high GPA in the subjects required by the institutions of higher education. This is not fair, because those who get accepted were given the opportunity to devote themselves only to their studies while the young people in military service had to work on behalf of all of us and learn from the battlefields. They return trying to get their lives back on track, and attempt to study even when faced with the challenges of overcoming trauma and psychological torment. They try to accumulate the necessary credits, but find themselves in an unequal fight with little chance of success. The inequality in the dispute for a place at the university presents itself as an internal enemy more powerful than the external enemy that they have managed to defeat in inhospitable and extremely adverse conditions.
Considering that the word university denotes an academic institution dedicated to universalizing knowledge in the main areas of humanistic, technological, and artistic studies, as well as sharing the results of these studies with society, the practice and experience acquired by our young men and women in military service undoubtedly add to this knowledge, justifying, from an academic point of view, the concession of credit defended here.
Our soldiers, serving in our homeland and abroad, sacrifice part of their future and delay their studies in order to defend with their lives the piece and freedom enjoyed by those who dedicate themselves only to their studies. A major part of them return affected psychologically by the cruel course of the battles and the loss of comrades, they compete for places at the universities at a gross disadvantage in relation to those who have been able to comfortably dedicate themselves solely to their studies. Our heroes deserve credit to establish a fair balance in the application process for higher education in any area of knowledge. One of the purposes of granting the patriotic academic credit is to guarantee that veterans and future military personnel have an academic incentive to undertake the military service, assured by federal law. The adoption of this measure will be a motivational tool in the process of military recruitment of young people, at ZERO COST to the Department of Defense.
The military family will be grateful for the establishment of this meritorious and fair recognition. “Thank you for your service” is an expression of gratitude that should be accompanied by an effective gesture enforced by law, giving practical and effective meaning to the national sentiment of eternal gratitude for our living heroes.
I thank the military who sacrificed themselves in different wars and times, performing the most different and arduous services with the objective of securing a free and democratic world, for their effort, courage, and detachment in putting the interests of our homeland above their personal interests and advantages. Above all, I thank them for being part of the veteran’s history. The proposed awarding of credit will be a well-deserved honor, in memory of those who have perished, many as unsung heroes, and in favor of those who have survived, and those who will come to dedicate themselves to securing our core values of peace, justice, freedom and democracy.
For the above reasons, aiming to promote justice, I urge your Administration to take urgent measures to approve the legal guarantee of patriotic academic credit advocated in this petition.
Samuel Sales Saraiva
Samuel Sales Saraiva is an American citizen, author of projects and proposals directed toward social engagement and environmental protection. Credentialed by the Police Department of the State of New York (NYPD) in 1992, he worked as correspondent and was a former member of the National Press Club of Washington (NPC) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) in Washington, D.C., USA.