FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Personal bankruptcies have doubled in the past decade, about 43 percent of American families spend more than they earn each year and the average American household carries $8,000 in credit card debt.

These are serious statistics that also affect those who serve in the military. It is because of these reports that Fort Jackson will recognize Military Saves Week Feb. 21-28.

Military Saves is a DoD-wide financial readiness campaign to persuade, motivate and encourage service members and their families, as well as the wider military community, to reduce debt and save money every month, thereby ensuring personal financial readiness and positively impacting the nation's personal/household savings rates.

Military Saves encourages:
-- Developing a personal financial plan
-- Establishing good credit
-- Saving a portion of each paycheck
-- Enrolling in the Service members' Group Life Insurance, the Thrift Savings Plan, and when eligible, the Savings Deposit Program

While Military Saves is an ongoing campaign, the entire military community comes together to focus on financial readiness during Military Saves Week, the last Sunday in February to the first Sunday in March.

-- Who is eligible to join' Active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, DoD civilians, retirees, veterans, DoD contractors and family members of all ages.

-- Why Join' To be part of a global movement dedicated to personal financial stability and to be committed to exercising good financial habits. Army Community Services financial experts encourage you to join by signing "The Saver Pledge."

Visit and fill out the pledge. Savers who enroll online receive electronic newsletters and e-wealth coach advice.
Army Community Services will host three "Lunch and Learn" seminars Feb. 22-24, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Topics are: "Women and Money," "Retirement Planning and the TSP" and "Cost of Credit and the New Credit Card Rules."

For more information on Military Saves, call 751-5256 or e-mail