Deadline to apply for DECA scholarship is Feb. 17 Published Jan. 26, 2010 By Defense Commissary Agency FORT LEE, Va. -- The Feb. 17 deadline for students to apply for the 2010 Scholarships for Military Children Program is fast approaching. All students interested and eligible to apply are encouraged to gather their materials and submit their applications as soon as possible. One of the materials needed includes an essay on the following topic: "You can travel back in time, however, you cannot change events. What point in history would you visit and why?" The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created 10 years ago to recognize the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. Applications are available in commissaries worldwide and online through a link at http://www.commissaries.com and directly at http://www.militaryscholar.org. Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 17. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants. Those eligible to apply for a scholarship are dependent, unmarried children, younger than 21 (23 if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university) of active-duty, Reserve, Guard or retired military members; and survivors of service members who died while on active duty, or survivors of individuals who died while receiving military retired pay. Eligibility is determined using DEERS, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in DEERS and have a current ID card. An applicant must be planning to attend, or already be attending, an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2010, or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program. The scholarships program is administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families. Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit scholarship management services organization, manages and awards the scholarships. Commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public donate money to the program, and every dollar donated goes directly to funding the scholarships. Since its inception in 2001, the program has awarded $7.3 million in scholarships to almost 5,000 children of service members. About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices - savings worth about $3,300 annually for a family of four. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.