Free education for fallen soldiers’ kids

Remembrance Day brings offer of free tuition, rez room and food plan


When it comes to honouring Canadian veterans, McMaster University is putting its money where its mouth is. Timed to coincide with Remembrance Day, McMaster announced that it would offer free tuition to the sons and daughters of Canadian Forces soldiers killed in active missions. The offer extends to deceased soldiers’ children who are under 26 and enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs. It includes free tuition for four years of study, and a free residence room and meal plan for the first year.

What’s your take on the announcement? Is it McMaster’s patriotism? Or a PR move?

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Free education for fallen soldiers’ kids

  1. A PR move. I don’t want to belittle the trauma of losing a parent in military action, but I don’t think it’s any more tragic or difficult than losing a parent for any other reason. There comes a point at which commemoration of the sacrifices of soldiers becomes a slavish base appeal to patriotism. Lots of people make great sacrifices in life, regardless of militaristic rhetoric.

  2. I think Josh above is forgetting though that one most people’s parents died, they died no do it while serving the Canadian population. I think this offer should be extended to police, firefighters and Paramedic’s kids as well.

  3. This isn’t isolated to McMaster, by any stretch. Numerous universities have signed on with Project Hero, with more (hopefully) to follow.

    It’s fine to point out that everyone has obstacles to overcome. This is indisputably true. But if you use that fact to ground the argument that no person’s challenges are worthy of special accommodation or support while other challenges go unsupported then you can logically dismantle every scholarship out there that isn’t based strictly on grades. Every time someone’s race, disability, economic or social background, or anything of the kind comes into play, you can reply with “well, other people have challenges too.” I don’t think that’s an adequate answer.

    Patriotism aside, this program answers a little acknowledged fact about our armed forces. It’s a working class profession. Not that there’s anything at all wrong with that, but the rank and file are drawn from folks who very often have not benefited from higher education. Like anyone else, they very frequently want something more for their children. But unlike most people who may toil away at their jobs working to help their children into something else, our soldiers take the active risk they may lose that opportunity altogether. And that should be acknowledged.

    You don’t need to be slavishly devoted to militarism to acknowledge any of this. Simply regard military service as one of many dirty jobs our society needs to function. You may argue we don’t really need it. You may even be right. But that’s an argument to have in the legislature. The front line people who serve have simply responded to a decision that we have made as a society. We all bear equal responsibility for it – right or wrong. The consequences, to their lives and their families, aren’t something they should face alone.

  4. It is the federal government’s responsibility – and that of the Department of National Defence more specifically – to ensure the welfare of the families of soldiers killed in action. If this is not happening, then it is not the role of publicly-funded universities to remedy the situation. Note that this policy seems to make no reference to financial need.

    I’m not aware I was arguing against the existence of the military.

  5. I’m not saying that the DND does not hold a responsibility to the families of members who have died in the line of duty. I am however saying that, universities give scholarships, and this is a very good reason to give a scholarship. There are many scholarships that deal with people who have lost a parent, this is just one additional option for those who have their parent at THE PUBLIC’S EXPENSE (in reference to McMaster being a publicly funded university). I believe the poster above you said what I was trying to say much more eloquently.

  6. i do agree with Dean that this offer should be extended to police, firefighters and Paramedic’s kids as well.

  7. Government employees especially, people who are involve in protecting our countrymen deserves those kind of benefits. They are risking their lives and depriving themselves to be with their loved ones on occassions like christmas day and the like just to serve people.

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