FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 24, 2002
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Maria Hatzikonstantinou
Keith V. Lebling (202) 646-7726
Visa U.S.A. & Reserve Officers Association Partner to Bring
Practical Money Skills to Military Families
"It gave me peace of mind by letting me see that our
financial situation wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."
- D.C. Guard Family
Washington, DC - Visa U.S.A. and the Reserve
Officers Association are teaming up to provide financial training,
resources, and tools to assist the families of the thousands of
United States military Reservists and Guardsmen deployed in Operation
Enduring Freedom manage their personal finances.
"Visa is committed to doing what it can to provide
the resources and tools necessary to help the men and women who
are answering the call of war manage their household finances,"
said Rhonda Bentz, Director of Public Affairs, Visa U.S.A. "The
Reservists and National Guard personnel that have been called
to active duty and their families should have available to them
all the tools and information they need to assist them in dealing
with the new financial situation they find themselves in."
Through this partnership program, Visa U.S.A. is
working to provide military families with an array of financial
management resources, as well as further training in applying
these skills. These training sessions were kicked off this week
in Washington, DC, at the Reserve Officers Association 2002 Mid-Winter
Meeting. In the coming months, Major Commands of the Reserve and
National Guard, working with the respective Ombudsmen, will receive
tools that will enable them to provide assistance to their local
families. As this campaign continues, financial resources on topics
such as creating and sticking to a budget, understanding credit
reports, and managing credit and debit cards will be made available
at military installations across the country. Visa U.S.A. will
also be providing nearly 200 military installations nationwide
with the Practical Money Skills for Life tools, including instructional
videos and interactive learning calculators, so that Family Service
Center personnel can further supply ongoing training and assistance
to military families.
"We hope these materials and resources will assist
service members and their families in managing their new financial
situation, which often times includes a reduction in household
salary," Bentz added. "Of course, all families can access Visa's
free, on-line, financial resource Practical Money Skills for Life,
www.practicalmoneyskills.com, from any computer at any installation
across the country."
"The tragic events of September 11 called thousands
of Reservists into action, many of whom could be back on active
duty for a long period of time," said Col. Chip Holsworth, National
President of the Reserve Officers Association. "This extended
call to arms presents our Guardsmen and Reservists with unique
financial challenges. We are proud to be partnering with Visa
U.S.A in this endeavor to educate our military families and guide
them in managing their financial resources."
One family impacted by this call to duty is the
Harrington-Crawford household. District of Columbia National Guardsman
Sergeant Malek Crawford was called from inactive reserve status
to active duty and has been deployed for an indefinite amount
of time. His wife, Anisa Harrington-Crawford is at home managing
the household finances during her husband's military activation.
"Being a citizen-soldier you are always ready to
go and defend your country and step up when the call comes, but
you never think the call is going to impact you the way it actually
does," said Sgt. Crawford. "When the call comes you are ready,
but you really don't realize how your family, your budget, your
finances, and your income are affected when deployed."
"After attending National Guard Family Day at the
DC Armory last month and listening to Visa's Practical Money Skills
for Life presentation I went back to my office and logged on for
myself," said Anisa Harrington-Crawford. "I plugged our household
numbers into the budget calculator and it helped my create a new
budget to use during my husband's deployment. It gave me peace
of mind by letting me see that our financial situation wasn't
as bad as I thought it would be."
"Visa is proud to be able to give a little piece
of mind to active duty Americans who are defending our country,"
said Bentz. "We will do all we can to educate them and their families
by providing training, resources and tools that will allow them
to make sound financial decisions during this time of uncertainty."
About Visa U.S.A.
Visa is the world's leading payment brand and largest consumer
payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant
customers with the best way to pay and be paid. More than 14,000
U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa's processing system,
VisaNet, to facilitate over $810 billion in annual transaction
volume - including more than half of all Internet payments - with
virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry more than
353 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, stored value
and check cards, accepted at approximately 22 million locations
worldwide. Visa has long led the industry in developing payment
security standards, and has been named the most trusted payment
brand online. Visa's people, partnerships, brand and payment technology
are helping to create universal commerce - the ability to safely
conduct transactions anytime, anywhere and by any device. Please
visit www.visa.com for additional information.
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