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Q. I’m not a spouse, but I was wondering if there is a blog for single soldiers returning from Iraq? I was reading Spouse Calls and found it very informative. I just recently returned from Iraq and was wondering if there was a site that single soldiers could use to communicate like that. Thanks for any help you can give.

— Glinis

A. Thank you for your service, Glinis. I am glad you found the Spouse Calls blog helpful and informative. I understand that you are looking for something aimed more toward the active-duty side.

Here are a few blogs that might be what you are looking for:asoldiersblog.blogspot.com, justanother soldier.com, and a site that offers a whole list of soldier blogs: www.aap avatar.net/blogs.htm.

I have not read each one, so I cannot recommend or even comment on the quality of the content, but perhaps this will provide a starting point.

I hope these are helpful to you during your homecoming transition.

Q. Our neighbor is in the military, and was a platoon leader. He is married, has a 6-year-old child with his wife, and also has a stepson. His wife, somewhere along the way, developed a gambling addiction. She spent his re-enlistment bonus, pawned his stuff, stole from one of his soldiers’ wives. While I think it was despicable, he has known about this for two years and still left her in charge of large sums of cash and sought no help.

Anyhow, she got arrested for pawning someone’s wedding ring. He refused to bail her out, filed for divorce while she was in jail, tried to send his stepson to Illinois to his grandma’s permanently. He kept the 6-year-old daughter, but left her at his aunt’s house.

Day after son left, a woman started showing up at his house. (She has since moved in.) His stepson called us, devastated that he thought his stepdad had “dumped” him. We brought the son back to our house and are now in the process of fostering him, as his stepdad does not want him back.

Another woman has already moved in, although he is not even started divorce proceedings.

Is BAH a lump sum or based on number of dependents? And if so, is the stepson entitled to any support from him as long as they are still married? Not looking for any money for myself but for the son, as we have two kids and are not wealthy by any means. Any info appreciated!

A. It saddens me to see so many serious issues affecting one military family.

At the heart of your question, I surmise, is whether or not the stepson of the military member you describe is entitled to any support.

This, I think, is a legal question rather than a military one, and so I would suggest legal advice as soon as possible.

Finding an answer depends on the answers to several other questions, including: Has the man adopted this child? Has he agreed in writing, or has he been court-ordered to provide financial support for the child?

You raise another separate question when you mention “fostering” this young man. If he falls within the purview of your state’s child welfare laws, and if you become his foster parent, the amount of support you might receive for his care enters another realm entirely.

It is admirable that you want to rescue this boy from a sad situation. Perhaps more separation from this dysfunctional family is what you all need.

Please consult an attorney who specializes in child custody and support issues.

Terri Barnes is a military wife and mother of three. She lives and writes in Germany. Spouse Calls appears weekly in Stars and Stripes. Contact Terri at spousecalls@stripes.com and see the Spouse Calls blog at http:/blogs.stripes.com/blogs/spousecalls.

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