A little background about me, I am a Corporal in the Unites States Marine Corps, my job(MOS) is a 1371 Combat Engineer, this involves construction skills as well as demolitions, specialized demolitions for urban breaching and land mine warfare, also we sweep for IEDs depending on our mission. I have been to Iraq two times already one in 2006-2007 and 2008. I have less than 9 months left on my contract and I am done. I have already made up my mind that I want to go to school after my 4 years serving in the Corps. Recently we where informed that we will be deploying to Afghanistan, and the current word is we will be deploying in May coming back mid November or early December. Now for the first time in my career that I am in the position to have a choice to either do another deployment which means to extend my contract an extra 3 months or to not deploy and just stay stateside. But I do not know what to do at this point, I owe a total of $22,000 on loans, bills, credit cards etc.. If I choose not to deploy, this will give me the chance to start applying for colleges and get my disabilities from the VA after my contract ends in September and possibly get out a little earlier to start school in August. If not in august I will have to wait till spring semester to start college. And have the time to start going to bartending school which will be my part time job. But it also means I will be free from the Marine Corps and will have to get a part time or full time job while I wait for the semester to start. The G.I Bill will pay 100% tuition to any college I get accepted to, included the cost of books, and since I will be going to school somewhere in Los Angeles they will also be giving me an extra 1600+ for room and board wherever I choose to live in LA. Now if i choose to deploy in May, I go to Afghanistan, alot more dangerous than Iraq, serve 7 months there or if I do not want to extend my contract I will serve only 5 and be back in September instead of November-December. I will have to go over and do what I have come to hate doing! But also be making twice as much as I am making now that I am back in the states with a 7 month deployment I am looking at coming back with $28,000 if I don't spend any money at all, so I'm thinking I will come back with $23000-24000. Now this would give me the apportunity to pay off if almost if not all my debt, and since I already have bad credit from an issue awhile back with my dad getting a credit card under my name while I was deployed, thats a + to my credit score. And instead of starting school in August-September I will be starting in the spring. Another downside to this is that I will be leaving my loved ones behind once again for the 3rd time and everytime I come home from a deployment it's always been all over the place and I'm never happy on how things turn out. So I come to you my fellow Macrumors with this dilemma in hopes that you can help me decide on what I should do.