Photo courtesy of John Lee Dumas

Name: John Lee Dumas

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Photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams

This past year I received a wonderful opportunity to attend a graduate program that was funded by the military. As I sat at graduation waiting to receive my diploma, I struck up a conversation with another member of the program who was a civilian. After chatting for a few seconds, the young man revealed that he carried nearly $100,000 in student loan debt from his undergraduate and master’s degrees combined. To say that my mouth dropped to the floor was an understatement.

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Photo by Spc. Nathan Thome

When I was a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, I remember a male classmate and I talking about our futures with regards to relationships. While we both admitted that having a relationship in the military would be hard, he said something to me that I have never forgotten.

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