Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

July 8, 2014

Financial hardships mount for military families

Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help.

It was a striking message from a reserved woman who seemed at unease in the spotlight.

Petraeus knows about damaged pride and a military culture that abhors weakness. In late 2012, her husband, former CIA director and retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, suffered a fall from grace after admitting his role in an extramarital affair.

The public shaming must have been almost unbearable for the family, but Holly Petraeus stayed warrior-strong. She continued in her job advocating for military families who, after the longest period of warfare in U.S. history, too often find themselves in financial trouble, victimized by financial scams and illegal foreclosures.

Invited by Indiana’s U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly to meet with Hoosier military families, Petraeus visited Indianapolis in her role as assistant director of service-member affairs at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

She talked about her work monitoring the complaints of military families and her office’s crackdown on illegal foreclosures on active-duty members. She described aggressive debt-collection practices that frighten military families.

Their money problems are real: A 2012 Defense Department report said 27 percent of military families have more than $10,000 in credit card debt, compared with 16 percent of all Americans. Nearly a third of enlisted personnel and junior non-commissioned officers patronize easy-credit, high-cost lenders, it found. And indebtedness is the top reason for revoking a soldier’s security clearance.

Petraeus said she and her small staff field many calls from service members who are threatened with de-ranking or having their security clearance pulled if they cannot pay their debts. Those calls often come late in the process, she said, long after mortgaged homes are under water or when penalties of unpaid debts have piled up.

Text Only
Columns
  • Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica

    July 22, 2014

  • Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to

    July 22, 2014

  • Shining a light on the Federal Reserve If you are like most Americans, you probably have heard of the Federal Reserve. But, you may not know much about what the Fed actually does or the very real ways its decisions impact your day-to-day life. The Federal Reserve was founded by Congress i

    July 22, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens the urgency of lawmaker's mission INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrant

    July 22, 2014

  • fea-gb072214 Spaulding column jpg Spaulding Outdoors: The inside on Indiana's outside Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshopsTwo free waterfowl hunting workshops for beginners will be offered in August and September by the Department of Natural Resources. The focus of the workshops is on hunting Canada geese, although there will be

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thankful for our veterans' sacrifice On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 17, 2014

  • Please go away My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven’t caught up. I don’t have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 17, 2014

  • Pat Smith: Undiscovered treasures in the home Last week I wrote about finding a certificate showing that my husband had purchased 15 shares of the “Souvenir Stock of Greensburg Community Centennial, Inc held in 1959. What I found nearby was even more intriguing; at least, it was to me. It is a v

    July 16, 2014

  • What's in the attic? Shoes! Shoes reflect our personality, our fashion sense, our role in society and our mood on any given day. Without a word they say, soccer mom, corporate executive, medical technician or going nowhere, doin’ nothing’. Last year in the US more than 350 mill

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed INDIANAPOLIS – If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ri

    July 15, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.