The Aug. 2 article “Troops seek help to stave off default on mortgages,” concerning the Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) and relief of mortgages for servicemembers, struck a particularly strong note with me considering our nation’s current economic strife. The author of the article is incorrect in the assertion that a servicemember cannot “short sell” his home for fear of losing his security clearance. I know several servicemembers who have been forced to do just that and zero impact was felt on their professional lives. The risk to one’s credit history is another matter, but that comes with investing in a home with prior knowledge that the servicemember will more than likely be leaving the area within three to four years.

Servicemembers should not receive monetary support from other taxpayers in order to slide out from under upside-down mortgages. No one, military or not, should receive that kind of entitlement.

Buying a house is an investment with certain inherent risks. To force other citizens to help pay for these mortgages is ridiculous, especially since many of these other citizens are going through the same issues without any recourse.

Servicemembers are granted, and justly deserve, many entitlements due to their sacrifice and service to this nation, but this should not be one of them. If they are allowed to pocket equity in a good market then the reverse should also be true.

Master Sgt. Daniel Skidmore (retired)

Heltersberg, Germany

Support men as wives deploy

Frequently I come across newspaper articles, public events and announcements that recognize the courage and generosity of the women who are left behind while their husbands are deployed. More recently, an ad in Stars and Stripes read, “No one understands a military wife.” Without a doubt, their sacrifice is exemplary. Managing a household and sometimes a full-time job is to be recognized and honored.

What is overlooked is the same sacrifice of the many husbands who are left behind when the wife is the active-duty member and deploys. The difference in the lack of recognition is uncanny. Little if any acknowledgment and support is given to the husbands, who also manage the household and have full-time careers and provide for the children (if the family has them).

I am currently deployed to Afghanistan and have seen firsthand the degree of public recognition is unbalanced and amount of resources few. My husband owns his own business and provides for our two children, one teenager and one preteen. Producing two honor students is the result of his successful guidance as an involved parent. While I have been away, he has managed to continue his successful business with only one other employee. His business requires him to travel and many times he has had to arrange for the grandparents to take care of our children in our absence. His dedication to family is his drive until we are reunited. He continues on without complaint, and certainly without acknowledgement and support.

He and every husband in the same situation deserve to be recognized for their incredible sacrifice and devotion. I have not seen one news article, ad or event honoring these men — or showing the least bit of public appreciation.

This letter should only ignite further response and realization. I appreciate all the recognition we, as service men and women, receive while we are deployed. It certainly would not be possible without the unwavering love and sacrifice of our spouses.

Lt. j.g. MaryPat Tobola


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