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Eevan eht Nioj? No Thanks

By Shannon in News on Aug 20, 2007 7:10PM

What would you do with $180,000? Oh, the possibilities. You could buy 18,000 albums on iTunes. You could pick up that brand-new Mercedes you’ve always wanted. Or maybe you could finally afford one of those new condos springing up everywhere. Danielle Littrell had lofty dreams of her own: the Farmington, MO teen was going to use it for college. That is, until the Navy yanked their dangling carrot out from under her nose.

exploiting the mighty eagle to further our military industrial complexLittrell, 18, enlisted with U.S. Navy’s ROTC program, which would allow her to go to the school of her choice for four years in exchange for serving that amount of time later as an officer. She chose Loyola University, whose tuition clocks in at a beefy $27,000 a year. (Or is it not that beefy anymore? A lot has changed since Chicagoist was college-minded.) The Navy presented Littrell with a dummy check worth $180,000 smackers, enough to get her through college and then some, though we suppose room had to be made for books and food and stuff. Case closed, college ho, right? Negative.

Citing a back injury that Littrell incurred in 2005, the Navy rescinded their scholarship just last month. Littrell and her family received a letter from the Department of Defense, saying her “weak or painful back” would prevent her from serving her country when the time came. That’s odd, since Littrell managed to play high school basketball and earn a black belt in karate since the injury. A frickin’ black belt! We can’t reach into the fridge without lumbar discomfort. The beleaguered youth’s orthopedist even sent medical records on her behalf, so that the Navy might be otherwise persuaded. It was to no avail; a July 30 letter indicated no change in their decision. Despite the huge setback, Littrell’s still moving into her dorm tomorrow. She just doesn’t know how long she’ll be sticking around.

Image via the Maine Maritime Academy.