$600,000 for helicopter lessons? Close this GI Bill loophole

To the editor: From this article, we learn that taxpayers are footing the bill (and simultaneously lining the pockets of certain individuals) for veterans to learn how to fly helicopters. ("U.S. taxpayers stuck with the tab as helicopter flight schools exploit GI Bill loophole," March 15)

I am all for solid veterans benefits, including educational assistance. But $600,000 for training to land a $14.50-an-hour job? That is at least twice the cost of a four-year college degree. No sane person would take out a student loan for that deal, but we all pay for it nonetheless.


Calling Congress: Please close this "loophole."

Margie Engel, Studio City


To the editor: I was so curious about the $250,000 the government pays for a two-year helicopter pilot course.

What if we got two of those veterans educated at a four-year medical school (average annual tuition for an in-state medical school in this country is $32,000)? Then we would have two more American doctors providing medical care at stringently restricted Medicare rates.

What do we value, America ?

Edward W. Malphus, MD, Santa Monica

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