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, [http://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 [http://www.visa.com] for additional information.