Veterans Affairs Cut POW/MIA Scholarships by $1 Million Under Duckworth

WASHINGTON FREE BEACON The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs cut its spending on scholarships for family members of prisoners of war and fallen soldiers by nearly $1 million during Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s tenure as director, according to an internal audit report.

Duckworth, a Democrat who is currently running for Senate in Illinois, served as head of the Illinois VA between December 2006 and February 2009.

The year before Duckworth was appointed, the department spent $1.7 million on POW/MIA scholarships, according to the 2008 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Compliance Examination. In 2007, that number dropped to $842,497. In 2008, the department spent $839,792 on the program.

The college scholarship program is intended to support “dependent[s] of a person who was an Illinois resident at the time he/she entered active duty and has been declared to be a prisoner of war, missing in action, dead as a result of a service-connected disability, or disabled with a 100 percent disability as the result of a service-connected cause,” according to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

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