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Veterans react to Biden’s student loan ‘forgiveness’ plan

President Joe Biden Aug. 24, 2022. (White House/Released)
August 25, 2022

After President Joe Biden announced his student loan “forgiveness” program on Wednesday, numerous veterans spoke out about the announcement on Twitter, with some arguing against the multi-billion proposal and others expressing support for the effort.  

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Former Marine and Fox News contributor Joey Jones, who lost both of his legs in combat, tweeted, “I cannot believe I gave two legs for my tuition. What a dope I am. Ooh-rah.”

Gretchen Smith, a United States Air Force veteran and founder of the non-profit Code of Vets — which helps veterans in crisis and in need — slammed Biden’s student loan “forgiveness” program. 

In a Twitter post, Smith described growing up in poverty in the Appalachian region before joining the Air Force and earning her college education through the GI Bill. 

“I grew up in poverty in the mountains of NC. I ate out of a garden, lived in government housing, shopped at yard sales. I joined the Air Force. Earned my GI BILL. I attained 4 degrees and created my own version of the American Dream,” she wrote on Code of Vets Twitter account. “I am not responsible for your student debt.”

Writer and Retired Army Colonel Kurt Schlichter accused Biden of telling him to “get screwed” despite serving in the military and working to pay off student loans. 

“I paid off $70K of loans. I earned GI Bill money to pay some of the rest. And I worked 2 jobs on school,” he tweeted. “Joe Biden told me to get screwed. I intend to return the favor.”

Ohio Senate candidate, author and veteran J.D. Vance, who famously wrote the hit memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” tweeted that he earned his undergraduate education through the GI Bill. The tweet was written in response to the Democrat candidate for Ohio State Auditor, who proclaimed that he “earned” Biden’s loan forgiveness and accused Vance of being a “fraud.”

“1) You didn’t earn anything. Working class Ohioans gave it to you. And they’ll pay for it with higher inflation 2) I went to OSU for undergrad, paid for by the GI Bill–I *earned* that by serving our country as a Marine 3) It’s weird for public servants to whine about their pay,” Vance tweeted. 

Writer and veteran Charlotte Clymer tweeted showed support for Biden’s student loan “forgiveness” program, tweeting, “You paid for your college with the G.I. Bill after serving in the military — aren’t you mad that others don’t have to pay back some of their student loans?” No. Because I don’t think anyone should have to struggle with crushing debt for a quality education. Next question.”

Twitter user “hungry_golden,” who describes himself as a healthcare worker and veteran, shared a photo of himself on the platform and argued that opposing student loan forgiveness “is the wrong take for a public servant.”

“As a #veteran who benefited from 3 tuition programs for 3 degrees. “Fuck you I got mine” is the wrong take for a public servant. Student loans are a yoke on citizens who are trying to better themselves and society. I served to help Americans, not pull the ladder up behind me,” he tweeted. 

In 2019, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order to forgive disabled veterans’ student loan debt — to the tune of more than $750 million.