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Sarah Palin Pushes Against Free College Using PTSD Vet

Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin slammed the notion of Americans receiving a free college education on April 24.

Palin, who resigned from her position as governor in 2009, according to NBC News, posted a picture of protesters holding a "Free Education For All" sign and a picture of "Marlboro Man" Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller.

The meme includes the caption: "Want free college...? Earn it."

Rolling Stone reported in 2008 that a Los Angeles Times photojournalist took the picture of Miller on Nov. 9, 2004. The picture made Miller an icon of the U.S. troops at the time.

The New York Post published the Pulitzer Prize-nominated picture with the headline, "SMOKIN."

Miller doesn't sleep more than once over a period of a few days, according to the 2008 Rolling Stone report, and when he does get some shut-eye, the veteran sleeps with a gun under his pillow.

His days were reportedly full of drinking beer, smoking, riding his motorcycle and appearing to be on the edge of a breakdown.

Rolling Stone noted that Miller had all the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder from his seven months in Iraq: insomnia, choosing to be isolated, heightened alertness, nightmares and war time memories.

"I just want people to understand what PTSD is," Miller stated. "It's not that you're a wack job who needs a straitjacket. It's just that you have thoughts not exactly on the level…"

The picture of the student protests in Palin's Facebook post is from a demonstration at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City by NBC, noted Art Observed in 2013.

The students were protesting because the college was doing away with its free education policy and imposing a "steeply sliding scale" that ranged from $20,000 annually to zero for students with "the greatest needs."

The Washington Post reported in 2014 that college education costs in the U.S. have shot up by 500 percent since 1985, while many European countries offer free college education, or close to it, even for foreigners.

There is no tuition for an undergraduate or graduate degree in Germany. Americans can get their free degree in Germany, and can take English language classes.

Finland does not charge tuition fees, and offers many courses in English. Foreigners are welcome, but the government says they "are expected to independently cover all everyday living expenses."

Universities in Norway do not charge foreign students, and many classes are taught in English. However, the cost of living in Norway can be high.

Sweden offers inexpensive college degrees, and more than 900 programs are in English. There is no charge for Ph.D. programs.

Sources: NBC NewsSarah Palin/Facebook, Rolling StoneArt Observed, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: Therealbs2002/Wikimedia Commons

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