By Mark Cantrell

They’re old men now, their backs bent against the years, faces leathered with age. Many are in wheelchairs. On a hot summer afternoon in Washington, D.C., nearly 400 of their number assemble outside the historic Marine Barracks for a ceremony in their honor. They cut fine figures in their suits and ties, despite the heat. They don’t mind; they’ve experienced worse. They are, after all, the Montford Point Marines.

Although African-American soldiers already were serving in the Army by 1941, the Marine Corps still was resisting integration. But June 25 of that year, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission, and racial discrimination by government agencies became illegal. The historic presidential order forever would change the face of the armed forces.

To say the order was met by resistance from Corps leadership is an understatement, but with war looming overseas, America needed every war fighter it could get. Work began on a blacks-only training facility on a swampy peninsula of the New River in North Carolina, not far from Camp Lejeune, and June 1, 1942, the recruiting process got under way. On Aug. 6, the first black recruit, Howard Perry of Charlotte, N.C., arrived at what then was named Camp Montford Point.

Welcome to the swamp
Marine Corps bases are never luxurious, but Montford Point was an especially tough billet. Because of the camp’s remote location, surrounded by deep forests and crisscrossed by brackish creeks, the new Montford recruits found themselves fighting off mosquitoes and deerflies while drilling in temperatures that often exceeded 100 degrees in the summer. They were forbidden from setting foot in Camp Lejeune without a white escort. “We had nothing,” recalls Norman Preston, now 90, who arrived at Montford Point in 1944. “If you tell people what we had to go through and how we had to live, they would not believe they could treat a human being like that.”

John Peoples disembarked at Montford Point on New Year’s Day 1945. “I was just 18 and wasn’t sure what was going on,” he remembers, “but I was just anxious to get going.” At the time, all drill instructors (DIs) at the camp were white and lived at Camp Lejeune. The tough, seasoned Marine Corps instructors would arrive at 8 a.m., drill the recruits all day, and return to their quarters at 5 p.m. But it was decided the camp needed its own DIs, which is how Peoples found himself in DI school.

When Peoples assumed his position as instructor, however, he soon was called on the carpet. “I thought I was supposed to mainly teach military science, how to use the M1 rifle and so on,” he says, “but the senior NCO told me my men had no snap, so he took over and took them down into the bay and had them drill up to their necks in water. Then he told me to take over or he was going to put me out there too. I toughened up in a hurry.”

Peoples saw some other DIs physically striking their recruits, something he refused to do. “They weren’t coddled, but I wasn’t trying to hurt them either,” he says. “I did my share of yelling, though, and I’d punish them by having them duckwalk for maybe 25 or 30 minutes, which is rough on your knees. I’d have them march five or 10 miles with their packs filled with sand. And I’d wake them up at 2 in the morning and make them clean the barracks with toothbrushes,” he says with a chuckle.

James Rundles, another DI who shared a hut with Peoples, explains they worked their men so hard because they wanted to exceed the Marine Corps’ requirements. “Many of the brass thought that Negroes could never be trained to be ‘real Marines’ and that their induction would hurt the Corps,” he said in an interview with The Jackson (Miss.) Advocate. Rundles and the other DIs were determined to prove them wrong.

A crucial assignment
One day, Rundles learned Gen. A.A. Vandegrift, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, was coming to Montford Point for an inspection. “They were trying to decide whether to keep it or close it,” says Rundles. “After his inspection, the general was to have us pass in review while one sergeant stood six feet in front of him, shouting commands to 1,200 Marines. Master Sgt. Gilbert H. ‘Hashmark’ Johnson was to decide which sergeant it would be.” Rundles ended up with the make-or-break assignment.

Three days later, Rundles stood on the parade ground, calling out commands to the troops while the general looked on. The Marines began to march, carrying out their maneuvers like a well-oiled machine. As they approached the reviewing stand, the “Marching 100” band struck up the Marines’ Hymn. “I was proud of them,” says Rundles. “It was beautiful to watch the pride and precision those men executed.” After the last man passed, Rundles swiveled on his heel and saluted Vandegrift, who returned the salute and said with a grin, “Good show, sergeant. Good show.”

After the general’s visit, all restrictions on admitting African-Americans into the Marine Corps were lifted, and by the end of the war, more than 20,000 men were trained at Montford Point. But before that, it was time for Rundles to put all his training to use. “Our commander decided there were only two kinds of Marines: those who had been in combat and those who were going,” he remembers. “In August 1944, we were given our last furlough home before leaving for Camp Pendleton [Calif.]”

Into the meat grinder
After training, Rundles was shipped out to Hawaii, then put aboard a ship with an unknown destination. All he knew was it was part of a huge convoy, but after refueling stops at a series of Pacific islands, Rundles finally was briefed about his destination. He and his fellow Marines were to invade the island of Iwo Jima, Japan. It would be a short mission, they were told: perhaps a week at the most. The reality would be very different.

On Feb. 19, 1945, the convoy’s battleships raked the island with shells from their formidable 16-inch guns, while aircraft pounded the Japanese fortress of Mount Suribachi with rockets. The first wave of Marines landed without incident, but as they moved inland, the Japanese opened fire from concealed bunkers and outcrops. Caught in the open, nearly 2,000 servicemembers died that day.

On the third day of fighting, it was Rundles’ turn to come ashore. As he and his 34th Marine Depot comrades approached the beach in their landing ship, he happened to look through his field glasses at Mount Suribachi and saw a glorious vision. “There she went,” he remembers. “They were raising the flag. God, what a beautiful sight, I thought.” Black or white, the Marines on Iwo Jima endured more than a month of hell before the island finally was secured. A few months later, B-29s dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese mainland, and soon the war in the Pacific was over.

The Montford Point Marines went home, proud of their accomplishments but certain their stories would be only a footnote in the epic history of World War II. Rundles received a Presidential Unit Citation for his service on Iwo Jima. Upon his return to the U.S., Preston got a job on the railroad and spent nearly 20 years there. Peoples enrolled at Jackson State University in Mississippi, earned a doctorate, and taught mathematics in Indiana before returning to Jackson in 1964 and eventually becoming president of Jackson State.

Due recognition
These Marines’ story still might be largely unknown had Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, not attended a Camp Montford Point reunion at Camp Pendleton in 2011. He walked out amazed he had never heard of the Montford Pointers and vowed to make sure they received long-overdue recognition not only for their service but also for their role in changing society. And June 28, 2012, that’s exactly what happened.

On that steamy summer day, those who could manage it rose to their feet as, one by one, their names were called to accept the Congressional Gold Medal. Peoples remembers: “They were calling our names over the loudspeaker, and when they called the name of the guy next to me and I knew my name was next, I thought, This is really going to happen!” When the Marine general officer slipped the medal over his head, Peoples responded with a resounding “Yes!”

Preston and a fellow Montford Pointer received some due recognition even before the ceremony. Aboard their flight to Washington, D.C., the two were surprised by an announcement from the cockpit: “This is the captain. I want to let you know that we have two distinguished Montford Point Marines aboard.” The whole plane just went up in applause, says Preston. “Things like that, despite what happened before, really make you feel like you’re somebody,” he adds.

For those who couldn’t make it to the ceremony, the Marines brought it to them, wherever they happened to be. That was the case with Rundles, now 91, who was visited by a contingent of Marines in full dress uniform at his home in Jackson. A local city councilmember and Rundles’ old friend Peoples looked on as the Montford Pointer finally received recognition for his contributions.

In a statement, Amos said, “To me, they were heroic for two reasons: They fought against the enemy during World War II while they also fought for their civil rights and the respect of their fellow Americans. It is fitting that we, as Americans, honor their selfless service and sacrifice with the Congressional Gold Medal and fully embrace their storied contributions to the history of our nation at war.”

Pay Raise for Troops

Members of Congress agreed on a deal that would give servicemembers a 2.4-percent pay bump in 2018 - up from the 2.1-percent raise proposed by the president.
  Read More >

Support the Military on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, this year on November 28th, is an annual day of giving encouraging people everywhere to donate to their favorite charities
  Read More >

Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know

There are lots of little (and sometimes not so little) tips and techniques that can shave a few of seconds off frequently used procedures or maybe even completely change how you work.
  Read More >

Inside Story of MOH Recpient Capt Rose

Rose was the second Vietnam veteran to stand in the White House's East Room this year to receive the Medal of Honor.  

  Read More >

Send Congress a Message

Send Congress a Message   Read More >

Hispanic-Americans’ Contributions to U.S. Wars

History indicates that — even as far back as when the colonies were fighting for independence from Great Britain — Hispanic servicemembers have played an integral part in U.S. military efforts.     Read More >

Buckets of Money

How to use a bucket strategy to save for retirement
  Read More >

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

These tips can help you avoid becoming a phishing victim.   Read More >

Bracing for BRAC

If a new round of BRAC is authorized, the GAO must look at it as more than just a numbers game.
  Read More >

Support Recovery from Opioid Addiction

Recovery can be a challenging process for everyone involved and works best when family members are both appropriately supportive and attentive to their own needs.
  Read More >

7 Easy Steps to Prevent Identity Theft

The risk of identity theft is real, but you can protect yourself with these simple steps.
  Read More >

Servicemembers Lost in Action

New policies and improved technology at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency lead to an increase in the rate of identifications.
  Read More >

August Recess 2017

Between July 28 and September 5, most U.S. senators and representatives will be on recess in their home districts to meet with constituents. This is a great opportunity for you as a MOAA supporter to visit your elected officials' local offices and advise them of your and MOAA's concerns on important matters.
  Read More >

Portraits of Courage

Meet three officers painted by former President George W. Bush a decade after he sent them into combat.
  Read More >

Ken Burns' New Documentary

As America observes the 50th anniversary of the controversial war, a new documentary from the acclaimed director aims to shed light on lingering questions.
  Read More >

Top 11 Career and Transition Apps

Make your job search easier with the apps that download right to your phone!

  Read More >

Transforming Trauma

Some veterans have transformed their traumatic experiences into personal growth opportunities by turning to alternate therapies.   Read More >

The evolution of the International Shark Attack File.

Who was tasked with inventing the first shark attack repellant after the worst shark attack in history?
  Read More >

Former Marines Help Businesses Develop Stronger Leaders

Former Marine Corps captains Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch are helping private-sector businesses with service leadership skills.  Read More >

Think Tank Nation — What Role Should the U.S. Have in the Fight Against ISIS?

A publication from RAND Corp. looks at the role of the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.  Read More >

Research Aims to Reverse Hearing Loss

The Office of Naval Research’s Noise-Induced Hearing Loss program is investigating how to protect servicemembers from hearing injuries from loud noises.  Read More >

The Last Mile: Growing Peace With Saffron In Afghanistan

Rumi Spice helps farmers in Afghanistan grow saffron crocuses.
  Read More >

DoD Admits It Needs A Culture Change

DoD released this week its FY 2016 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military.
  Read More >

Tips to Extend Your Smartphone Battery Charge

These easy tips can help make your smartphone’s battery charge last longer.
  Read More >

Interviews With Three Famous Military Brats

Military Brats who are all grown up and hugely successful.   Read More >

Taking Care of Your Career References

Here are a few tips to consider when compiling your reference list.
  Read More >

Tech Tactics — The Best FREE Digital Programs, Services, and Apps

It has been said the best things in life are free. But with digital technology, sometimes you have to pay to get good enough. It can be worthwhile to open up your wallet for the full version when the free version is missing features you need or when the only available free programs aren't what you want. But not always; some free programs are high quality.   Read More >

Repeal Sequestration

The congressional session is just getting underway. Please engage your member of Congress—encourage them to make it their priority to repeal sequestration.
  Read More >

Top 10 things to keep in mind about LinkedIn

With more than 470 million people on LinkedIn, it’s safe to say most of us understand its power. However, there’s a difference between using the platform to have a simple profile and passively accept requests and harnessing the network to enhance your brand and compel human resource specialists and employers to contact you.
  Read More >

From Battlefield to Vineyard: the Stories of 3 Military Winemakers

Grape growing takes some guts and courage; year after year, you're vulnerable to the whims of Mother Nature. Perhaps this is why numerous veterans in their post-military careers run wineries in Santa Barbara County, Calif.   Read More >

The Ripple Effect of PTS on Military Kids

Children of servicemembers can feel the impact of their parent’s post-traumatic stress.
  Read More >

MOAA Suggests Caution over Proposed Coast Guard and NOAA Budget Cuts

  Read More >

Tech Tactics - What Should Your Next Device Be?

Are you in the market for a new device? Should you get a desktop PC, laptop PC, Mac device, Windows unit, tablet computer, Chromebook, or 2-in-1 laptop-tablet combo?
  Read More >

Should You Own an Individual Stock Portfolio?

Financial success in general involves risks.
  Read More >

The Right to Fight

Women with serious mettle now have the opportunity to serve in some of the military’s toughest jobs.
  Read More >

Here are 10 ways Shulkin plans to modernize the VA

The new VA secretary laid out a 10-point plan for improving veterans' health care this weekend - and it doesn't include a move toward privatization.

  Read More >

A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Colonoscopy

Getting a colonoscopy is much simpler than you might fear and can be key to early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
  Read More >

7 Factors That Affect Heart Health

  Read More >

Surprising Facts About Presidents Who Served in the Military

In all, a majority of U.S. presidents have served in the military, in theaters ranging from Valley Forge to the Pacific, and chalked up quite a few firsts along the way.
  Read More >

12 Apps to Improve Heart Health

Get on the road to a healthier heart and keep informed between doctor’s visits with these apps for your smart device.
  Read More >

Help Your Heart Now

  Read More >

2017 Legislative Goals

Top ten legislative goals for 2017.
  Read More >

All-Black Female Battalion Made History

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the first all-female, all-African-American unit to serve overseas during World War II, made history by sorting through a mountain of mail.
  Read More >

Black Military Units Throughout History

Facing institutional racism as well as the enemy, African-Americans have fought throughout our nation’s history with honor and bravery, often making the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Here are just a few of their stories.
  Read More >

Service Academy Grads in Super Bowl LI

The military service academies continue to be represented in the NFL.
  Read More >

Bodybuilding Military Officers

Bodybuilders Navy Lt. Kayla Tawoda and Army 1st Lt. Stephen Bell look to inspire other military servicemembers to get fit, even during the challenges of deployment.
  Read More >

Military Movies to Appreciate or Avoid

We asked a panel of servicemembers for their favorite and least favorite military-themed movies.
  Read More >

Ways to Volunteer for Military Causes

Give back to members of the military through these volunteer opportunities that benefit servicemembers, veterans, and military families.  Read More >

Contact Congress- Repeal Sequestration

  Read More >

Health and Safety Tips for Travelers

Follow these tips to help you stay healthy and safe while traveling.  Read More >

A Game of Truce

  Read More >

New Year’s Eve Traditions

Fun international New Year’s Eve traditions to make your own.  Read More >

Counting Calories for Weight Loss

If your New Year’s resolution is to get healthier and lose weight, here are tips for keeping a more accurate count of the calories you consume.   Read More >

7 Little-Known Facts About Toys for Tots

Theme songs, celebrity sponsors, and other little-known facts about the history of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.  Read More >

What do rising interest rates mean to investors?

You might be wondering, what do rising interest rates mean to investors?  Read More >

Defense Bill: Pay, SBP, TRICARE, and Housing Wins

  Read More >

Servicemember Superheroes

  Read More >

Be Smart About Charitable Giving

With so many charities, choosing the right one can seem daunting.  
  Read More >

Tips for Networking Over the Holidays

  Read More >

The Storied History of the Army Navy Game

The tradition and rivalry of the Army-Navy football game make it unlike any other.
  Read More >

Paradise Under Attack

Military nurses serving in Oahu, Hawaii, and at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago provided clinical expertise and care during the surprise assault that would alter world history.  Read More >

Educational Assistance

  Read More >

Is It True? Tools and Tips for Fact-Checking

The online world also has a history of misinformation, disinformation, urban myths, rumors, conspiracy theories, and deception. But just as the internet is a fount of falsehood, it's also a source of tools for verifying statements and alleged facts.  Read More >

Update on FY17 Defense Bill

  Read More >

Is Teleworking For You?

You probably know people who work from their homes, but are you - and your job - right for teleworking?
  Read More >

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ tells the story of a soldier who wouldn’t bring a gun to war

The story behind Desmond Doss' Medal of Honor is hitting the big screen more than 70 years after the Army medic charged into the fray - weaponless - to save dozens of his comrades. 
  Read More >

Tech Tactics — Will E-books Replace Printed Books?

Of those reading e-books, more people are using tablet computers and smartphones to rather than a stand-alone e-reader.   Read More >

3-D Printed Prosthetic Covers for Military Amputees

Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, is changing the way prosthetics are manufactured and, in the process, changing the lives of military amputees.  Read More >

Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied

Bullying and cyberbullying is a serious issue affecting school-age children. Here’s how to recognize the signs and deal with the problem.  Read More >

Trump’s military: Here’s what troops can expect from their next commander in chief

  Read More >

Congress Leaves Government on Idle

The continuing resolution (CR) Hill and Administration leaders finally approved will keep the government operating past Sept. 30 and let legislators race home to campaign for re-election.   Read More >

Unregulated Online Pharmacies

Online pharmacies might be convenient and help you save money but they might put your health in jeopardy.  Read More >

Continuing Resolutions are Bad News

It appears increasingly unlikely Congress will pass a budget before September 30.  Read More >

Memory Chip Vs. Traditional Hard Drive Storage

Data storage on personal computers is beginning to shift from traditional hard drives to memory chips.  Read More >

Zika: What You Need to Know

Learn about the basics of Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease.  Read More >

Protect Your Computer Data

A public VPN creates a private network within the larger public internet, as if you were connecting through a fiber or coaxial cable that linked only your machine and the machine you're connecting to. The main benefit is increased security, and it accomplishes this through dedicated servers and encryption.  Read More >

Clinton, Johnson, Trump: Presidential Q & A

Our parent organization, MOAA, reached out to Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Donald Trump for their perspective on issues important to the military community. Each candidate received the opportunity to provide responses to the same four questions.

  Read More >

Dogs on Deployment

As any servicemember with a pet knows, animals are very important members of the family. One of the most heart-wrenching decisions is having to leave a beloved pet behind.   Read More >

Absentee Voting: Myths and Realities

  Read More >

Fiduciary, fiduciary, fiduciary

Fiduciary. It’s the term of the season in the financial industry.  Read More >

Military Olympic Athlete Profiles

Check out some of the awesome Team USA Olympians- who also happen to be servicemembers!  Read More >

August Recess

Between July 18 and September 5, most U.S. senators and representatives will be on recess in their home districts to meet with constituents.  Read More >

Tech Tactics — Protect Your Computer Data

The most commonly recommended traveling protection is to use a virtual private network (VPN) service.
  Read More >

Loaning Money to Family and Friends

Before you loan money to someone you care about, consider and address all the possible outcomes, or it could be a costly mistake, both emotionally and financially.  

  Read More >

Another Day Another Financial Crisis

Well the British decided to secede from the European Union. Did you find yourself worrying about what would happen to your investment portfolios?  Read More >

Does the Public Trust the Military?

As an institution, the military holds a 73 percent approval rating, unchanged from a decade ago. Since 1975 when Gallup first began tracking such ratings, the military has averaged 67 percent approval.   Read More >

Tech Tactics — 12 Tips to Look Your Best in Email

There's no universal agreement what makes you look good and what doesn't in email, but thinking through your decisions before clicking send can help ensure you're presenting your best self.  Read More >

5 Drops of Financial Wisdom

In my days as a financial adviser and now as an educator at MOAA, I have witnessed financial behaviors that span the spectrum. Good or bad behavior, there is something to be learned that can help you on your financial journey.   Read More >

The Sweet Side of Military Rations

Early on, servicemembers asked that candy be added to the ration menu, and military food scientists, in collaboration with commercial candy manufacturers, worked hard to grant that wish. 
  Read More >

Tips for a Safer Cruise Vacation

Cruising is one of the most popular vacations in the world, with some 24 million people choosing an ocean voyage in 2015. That's not surprising; a cruise ship serves not only as your hotel, but also your transportation, taking you to a new and exciting port of call every day or two.   Read More >

Protect Yourself From Medical Errors

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Take steps to protect yourself.   Read More >

Tech Tactics — How to Deal With the Device-Addicted Generation

A new poll highlights cellphone addiction among teens. Here are some suggestions for managing your child’s device usage.   Read More >

Schoolchildren Thank WWII Vets

A small town in Normandy, France by the name of Sainte-Mère-Église has made it their duty to remember.   Read More >

Dealing with Risk in Money Management

Risk. Isn’t risk the reason so many people fear the stock market? Risk in the stock market is only one of many forms of risk. There are safe, conservative, even guaranteed, forms of savings that have risks. Managing money in any form of savings or investment vehicle involves risks.   Read More >

High-Tech Global Scavenger Hunts

Find out what geocaching is and why servicemembers are drawn to the hunt.  Read More >

Pentagon Pulls Plug on Hiring

Effective March 20, the Pentagon has implemented a civilian hiring freeze that affects all vacant permanent civilian positions for which no tentative employment offer had been presented as of March 19.
  Read More >

Protect Yourself From Ransomware

Do you find the new "smart" credit cards — the ones with a computer chip embedded on their front — a pain? Well, some improvements are coming.
  Read More >

Update from Board of Directors

  Read More >

How to Support the Troops

  Read More >

Should Apple Help the FBI?

  Read More >

Top Generals: Issue Women Draft Cards

The top generals in the Army and Marine Corps told Senate lawmakers that women should be required to register for the draft.  
  Read More >

Understanding Fixed Index Annuities

Fixed Indexed Annuities (FIA) are very popular at this time. Let’s get to know the product.   Read More >

Money-Saving Habits to Begin Now

One of the secrets to a healthy financial future is to develop strong money-savings habits now to be used over your lifetime. The key to real savings is understanding all aspects of your finances, using that knowledge to your advantage, and exercising some financial discipline. 
  Read More >

Prevent Auto Installation of Windows 10

Do you like Windows 7? Many people do. In organizational settings, some custom programs are customized for Windows 7. A small percentage of printers and other peripherals work with it but not its successors. With some people, it's just inertia. If it ain't broke, why fix it? 
  Read More >

Shop Online and Contribute to Charity With Amazon Smile

Imagine buying what you need and want online and helping save the world at the same time? That's the premise behind Amazon Smile, a service by the Internet retail behemoth Amazon.   Read More >

Top 10 Legislative Goals for 2016

Voices for America's Troops and its parent organization, MOAA, support the following 10 legislative goals for 2016.
  Read More >

The Internet of Things

The Internet is connecting technology and our devices to automate everyday tasks.
  Read More >

Military Healthcare: What’s Working, What’s Not

This week, MOAA President, Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, USN (Ret.), testified before the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on what's working vs not working in military healthcare delivery, and what should be done about it.

  Read More >

How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?

The fulfillment of the traditional American dream often includes a family surrounded by all the comforts of home. We take satisfaction in buying our first house, leasing a second car, or finally replacing the couch that's been around since college, but can we afford the children that go along with it all? Rarely do prospective parents give any real consideration to the total cost of raising children - from the first diapers they wear to the car insurance they'll need before they back out of the driveway.   Read More >

How to Prolong the Battery Power of Your Smart Devices

With the ever-increasing reliance on high-powered smartphones and other portable digital devices, the lowly battery is getting more and more attention - from charging stations at supermarkets to new battery technologies on the horizon.   Read More >

Forget Swiping — There’s A New Way To Use Your Credit Card

If you have a credit card, you've already received - or soon will - a spanking-new one with a highfalutin computer chip embedded in the front. Such chips are designed to reduce credit card fraud, though they won't eliminate it. 

  Read More >

Career Reservists Next Big Win

In recent years, House of Representatives action on significant veterans’ matters often cleared the chamber before the Senate. This year the full Senate went first by favorably voting out the “21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery and Other Improvements Act,” which addresses veteran health care and benefits needs.   Read More >

Angels in Blue Dresses

At a time when many young men were burning draft cards and fleeing to Canada, a group of young women answered the call by joining the Red Cross Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas (SRAO) program, volunteering for duty in Vietnam. The story of these “Donut Dollies” - an affectionate term used by American servicemen in England during World War II for the Red Cross volunteers who served them coffee and pastries - remains largely unknown.
  Read More >

No COLA in 2016

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the September inflation figure this week and confirmed what most retirees already knew – there won’t be a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2016 for people collecting military retired pay, Social Security, VA compensation, or survivor benefits.
  Read More >

Get Your Flu Shot

Influenza, or the flu, is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.   Read More >

Make the Most of Your Savings

Saving money is a way for you to invest in yourself in order to reach a future goal.   Read More >

5 Rules of Etiquette When Talking With a Wounded Veteran

Whether you’re in a professional setting or a coffee shop, wounded veterans would greatly appreciate the general public observing a few unwritten rules when talking with them.   Read More >

The Puerto Rican Rambo

Known as the “Puerto Rican Rambo,” Jorge Otero Barreto was one of the most heavily decorated American soldiers of the Vietnam War. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, MOAA shares his story.   Read More >

Warm Weather Wheels

Summer travel season is officially here, and with it comes thoughts of the perfect summer road trip. After all, there’s no better way to see the countryside than by driving through it, making the journey just as much an adventure as the destination. But is your vehicle up to the task?   Read More >

Banking Flexibility

We all have busy schedules, so why are we still doing contortions to be able to make it to a bank branch during their limited hours in order to manage our money? To get the most flexibility from your financial institution, maybe what you need is more than just another bank.  Read More >

Mortgage Pay Off Vs. Investing

The truth about choosing between paying off your mortgage or investing your money is that personal choice can play as crucial a role as many financial factors.  Read More >

Memorial Day and Veterans Day

There are two national holidays that members of the military and all Americans consider sacred, and many people confuse the significance of the two.
  Read More >

Powers of Attorney

5 Types of Powers of Attorney and Why You Might Need Them  Read More >

4 Sensible Reasons to Refinance Your Auto Loan

This information is provided by our friends at Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed). Compared to the commitment of a mortgage, an auto loan seems like a drop in the bucket. Refinance a car loan? Why bother?  Read More >

Maintain an 800+ Credit Score

High achievers, start your engines: The road to an elite 800+ FICO score is long and arduous. Maintaining a high credit score requires scrupulous attention to detail over the long haul.  Read More >

Save With Biweekly Mortgage Payments

If there were an easy way to make your mortgage payments that was guaranteed to nudge you over the payoff line sooner, wouldn’t you do it?  Read More >

10 Tips for Recovering From Holiday Debt

A new year shouldn’t herald a new flight of credit card payments, but if you got a little carried away by the holiday spirit this winter, you might be facing a bevy of new balances arriving in your mailbox. Sure, you can resolve to do better next year — but what can you do now to clean up the debt you’ve already unwrapped?  Read More >

When Should I Start a Coverdell Account?

Every day a young family is presented with new financial priorities: a bigger car seat, entirely new winter wardrobes in larger sizes for each child, another doctor’s visit, and another $10 check to the PTA for the latest school event. And what about college? Start saving and earning interest now.  Read More >

16 Myths About Your Credit Score

With so many good reasons to get a credit card, the fact is that mismanaging your payments can leave you with a puny credit score that’s too weak to qualify you for that big wish list item you’ve been hankering to buy.  Read More >

America’s Global Role

The nation wrestles with a lack of consensus about its place on the world stage.  Read More >

Your Financial Checklist

Are you buying a first house or facing the big 4-0? Your financial goals should shift along with your situation and age. Use this cheat sheet to figure out which financial tasks you should take on when.  Read More >

Citizenship Through Service

Foreign nationals seeking a fast track to citizenship are an overlooked and critical component of U.S. armed forces.  Read More >

Facing Their Own Challenge

Military family members are stepping up to care for wounded veterans — but are we giving them the support they need?  Read More >

Close to Home

These military spouse writers draw inspiration from their own lives and share the military family experience with a wider audience.  Read More >

Icy Frontier

The thawing of the Arctic Ocean promises new opportunities — and new responsibilities for the military.  Read More >

Simulating Disaster

At the Center for National Response, military and civilian crisis teams train for the unthinkable.  Read More >

Invisible Wounds

Not all war scars can be seen. Many servicemembers suffer from psychological injuries.   Read More >

Camp Leatherneck Runs for a Cure

Marines based at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, organized an on-base Race for the Cure, which raised almost $20,000 in support of Susan G. Komen San Diego.  Read More >

Atomic Veterans, Part II

Between 1945 and 1962, nearly half a million members of the armed forces participated in atomic bomb detonations from the islands of the South Pacific to the deserts of Nevada. For some, the outcome was deadly.  Read More >

Personal Story: Tara Dixon

Invisible War Wounds Can Leave Very Deep Scars
  Read More >

Atomic Veterans, Part I

Between 1945 and 1962, nearly half a million members of the armed forces participated in atomic bomb detonations from the islands of the South Pacific to the deserts of Nevada. For some, the outcome was deadly.     Read More >

Celebrities Support the Troops

Actors, singers, athletes, and others use their star power to support servicemembers and their families.  Read More >

Personal Story: Capt. Clayton Hinchman

Read this firsthand account from Capt. Clayton Hinchman, USA-Ret., deputy director of Outreach for MOAA and a wounded soldier.  Read More >

Personal Story: Nancy Wake

Well-to-do newlywed Nancy Wake became an unlikely heroine as a spy during the French Resistance.  Read More >

Personal Story: Shindand Air Base

Shindand District, Afghanistan, has an estimated 400 villages and not one single hospital. But thanks to the work of the 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group (AEAG) and the civil affairs program at Shindand Air Base, all that is about to change.  Read More >

Personal Story: Staff Sgt. Barry Homberg

Army Staff Sgt. Barry Homberg’s path to recovery took him from his mission in the town of Ramadi, Iraq, to Trier, Germany, where he is now participating in a rehabilitative cycling event for wounded warriors.  Read More >

Personal Story: Matthew Newberry

Matthew Newberry needed a service project that would earn him the rank of Eagle Scout, and at just thirteen years old, he found one; honoring the veterans buried in the cemetery in his hometown of Leesburg, VA.  Read More >

Personal Story: Lt. Nicole Auth, USCG

One would think Lt. Nicole Auth, USCG, and her teammates in the 5th World Military Games had been sailing together for years when they took the bronze medal in the women’s military sailing competition in July, but in fact, they had just 11 days to prepare for the international event.  Read More >

Personal Story: Sgt. Bobby Brewster

Sergeants first class not only are platoon sergeants and senior enlisted section leaders, but they also are responsible for training and mentoring other soldiers.  Read More >

Personal Stories

  Read More >

Personal Story: Kelly Cotton

There are times in all our lives when we reflect on where we’ve been, what we’ve experienced, how we made it through, and where we are headed. While this is true for just about everyone, military families often have a very different perspective on this simple truism. VIDEO: Watch Kelly Cotton talk about her life as a military spouse.   Read More >

Personal Story: Daniel Williams

Struggling with mental illness resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or PTSD is a common occurrence now among today’s veterans returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. But although the wounds are not physical, they can be just as painful.  Read More >

Personal Story: Capt. Leigh Larkin

In the call of duty, servicemembers perform acts of bravery on a daily basis. One such airman is Capt. Leigh “Breaker” Larkin, an Ohio native who earned the 2010 Mackay Trophy for her bravery in Afghanistan.   Read More >

Personal Story: Patty Horan

Most spouses of active duty servicemembers live with the constant fear of getting that phone call or uniformed visitor at their door. For Patty Horan it became a reality when she awoke to her ringing phone, “There had been a serious accident and Pat has been shot in the head.”   Read More >

Personal Story: Col. Mark Desens

In 2007, Marine Col. Mark Desens and his Marine Expedtitionary Unit found themselves as accidental crisis responders. While training for an upcoming deployment, he and his Marines were in southern Indiana, an area soaked by three days of heavy rain.   Read More >