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Holly Petraeus, the assistant director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, addresses the crowd during a town hall meeting on Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 12. Petraeus touched on many subjects to include the scams used to defraud service members, programs available to aid veterans and their families and ways to enhance financial stability.

Photo by Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr

Mrs. Petraeus visits Marines, families aboard Camp Pendleton

17 Apr 2013 | Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr

Holly Petraeus visited Camp Pendleton to speak with key military and community leaders as well as service members and their spouses during a town hall meeting, April 12.

Part of her duties include touring and visiting military installations throughout the world to speak with those men and women who shop on or near their respective military installation.

“We are all concerned with the financial fitness of the force,” said Petraeus. “I get asked all the time in Washington ‘What are the issues that are causing problems for service members?’

“I want to be sure I am giving the right answer, and I can’t get that without hearing it straight from all of you,” she added.

Petraeus spent the better part of an hour with Marines and their spouses discussing ways organizations attempt to defraud service members, different resources available to them and ways to assure financial stability.

She also stressed to be aware of the contracts signed when purchasing new things, in the long run more dollars may be shelled out well beyond the worth of a product.

“I recently spoke to a young Marine who bought an iPad,” said Petraeus. “It ended up costing him $3,600. That’s the type of contract I don’t want you all to sign.”

A lot of information was exchanged, with Petraeus informing those in attendance of many programs out there to enable their success and attendees sharing stories with her.

A few of her key points to those in the audience was the risk of using for-profit colleges, advance-fee scams that lenders use to defraud service members and allotments used by lenders to benefit their businesses and separate service members from their money.

“Mrs. Petraeus, she had a wealth of knowledge especially about student loans and colleges,” said Cpl. Errol Oskay, who attended the meeting. “I picked up a few options from what she said that I can utilize.”

Petraeus held two separate town halls, one for sergeants and below, and the final one being comprised of staff noncommissioned officers and officers, giving her even more information to take back to Washington.

“We want them to be successful and use all the resources available to them,” said Petraeus. “We want service members to be aware of and use all of these resources, whether they are staying in or getting out of the military.”