I am very proud of the time I spent serving our country as one of World’s Finest – The United States Marines. I served in both the enlisted and officer ranks. The Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) is the bridge I used to transition from an Enlisted Marine to an Officer of Marines.
The Marine Corps selects a mere handful of Marines each year to participate in MECEP. Many people assume that MECEP students’ tuition is paid by the Corps. This is not true. MECEP students continue to receive normal pay and allowances while attending college. If, MECEP students must pay all costs of education. MECEP students can use VA benefits, take student loans, and earn scholarships. If MECEP students fail to meet the financial obligations of attending college, they will be dismissed from the program.
The financial challenge was daunting for me and my wife Celine . We had two toddlers when I attended the University of Washington. VA benefits and student loans almost covered tuition. Books tapped out what little savings we had. Many times, we simply figured out what credit card had enough room to cover my books. The quarterly trip to the University Bookstore was a source of significant stress for our young family. For me and my wife, Celine
Many years have passed since I attended UW and served in The Corps. When we started our business (VETRANS LLC), Celine and I decided that we would share the blessings of our business success if we were able. We decided that we would contribute something back to active duty Marines. We remembered the strain of buying books. We decided that it would be very appropriate for VETRANS to support MECEP students at UW. We established the Richard L. Bianchino MECEP Book Scholarship. VETRANS now contributes $250 per quarter to the Washington Marine Corps Support Group. The Support Group then awards 100% of this contribution to a deserving UW MECEP student.
The Washington Marine Corps Support Group is an outstanding non-profit organization that is very active in our community. The Support Group has been involved in a variety of activities in our area for many years.
If you wish to contribute to the Bianchino Book Scholarship or the Marine Support Group, please contact us.