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Military News Briefs for the Week Ending Sept. 15, 2000

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2000 –

(This is a summary of the top American Forces Press Service stories for the week ending Sept. 15, 2000.)

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YOU CAN SAVE, TOP MONEY EXPERT SAYS

Even when you're sure you can't afford to, you can save money, according to financial planner and best-selling author Ric Edelman.

Speaking at the DoD Family Readiness Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., in late August, Edelman shared ideas on how service members can create wealth without really trying.

Tip: Pay yourself first, taking advantage of automatic payroll deductions -- and sending your next pay raise to the investment of choice. Tip: Spend only paper money. Every night, throw pocket change into a piggy bank. Deposit proceeds once a month into your checking account and send a check for that amount to your investment.

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FORMER POWs MAY QUALIFY FOR PURPLE HEART

Former American prisoners of war may be eligible to receive the Purple Heart medal due to a little-publicized four-year-old change in the award rules.

Congress passed legislation in 1996 modifying Purple Heart eligibility rules to include all former U.S. POWs deliberately injured or wounded by their captors. No POWs had been eligible prior to a nonretroactive 1962 rule change.

Applicants must present supporting evidence, such as repatriation medical exams or a witness statement. If in doubt, apply. Use Standard Form 180, "Request Pertaining to Military Records," available at Department of Veterans Affairs service and medical centers; and online at http://web1.whs.osd.mil/forms/SF0180.PDF.

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DoD DEFENDS READINESS RECORD

People wanting to know if U.S. forces are ready "should ask Saddam Hussein," Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said Sept. 7. Speaking at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Cohen said the United States has the best forces in the world.

"I think we should ask [Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein whether or not [U.S.] forces were ready to carry out Operation Desert Fox," he said. "I think we should ask [Serbian President Slobodan] Milosevic as to whether or not we were ready to carry out the Allied Force operation in Kosovo."

Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said during a Pentagon press conference Sept. 7 that the United States is spending close to $300 billion per year on national defense. "It's more than all our NATO allies combined are spending," he said.

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DoD'S REVAMPED POV SHIPMENT SYSTEM'S A CUSTOMER PLEASER

Service members who shipped their cars to Europe never used to know where their wheels were until the freighter docked in Bremerhaven, Germany. Whenever.

Then, they had to go to Bremerhaven to claim their vehicles. That's all passe now.

Nowadays, the Military Traffic Management Command in Alexandria, Va., uses computers and the Internet to ensure customers can locate their vehicles 24 hours a day by visiting the "Where is my POV?" Web site at www.whereismypov.com. It also operates some 35 processing centers in the United States and overseas -- six in Germany alone -- to make deliveries more convenient.

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PACE TAKES SOUTHERN COMMAND HELM

Marine Gen. Peter Pace took command of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami Sept. 8 and pledged to cooperate with hemisphere partner nations to ensure the continued growth of democracy, prosperity and freedom.

Pace, 54, is a Naval Academy graduate and received his fourth star immediately before assuming his new command. He succeeds Marine Gen. Charles E. Wilhelm, who retired after 37 years of service and received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal from Defense Secretary William Cohen.

Southern Command's area of responsibility includes 32 Latin America and Caribbean nations.

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