Brody Lockwood - Like a typical fledgling, I started down the track of financial indebtedness. Nineteen years old and nothing to lose. Credit - who need it? Savings - that was for older people with responsibility. Debt - my parents were in debt ergo it must be OK. When I was eligible for reenlistment, I reenlisted for a multiple of 3 worth $15K. I was happy to pay off my debt, but would I be able to stay out of debt?

Finally, a Senior NCO sat me down and taught me about mutual funds, debt reduction, and how to be financially responsible, He taught me how to live within my means and still have fun as a young "responsible" adult. I am now that Senior NCO, reteaching the same financial ethics that my teacher taught me. I am a Command Financial Specialist for my battalion. I praise the Savings Deposit Program and the Thrift Savings Plan. 

Financially, I am sound. I have no worries in the world. I got started young and invested early. Now I am able to save for my daughter's education in 529 plans all while saving form my own retirement. I wish that others, especially younger service members, could see through my eyes. Learn what I have learned. I thought about where I wanted to be in retirement and I worked my way backwards developing a financial plan. I opened my first mutual fund at age 21 and slowly acquired one after another.

I have suffered through two economic down-turns but I remain resilient and stay invested weathering out the storm. By not allowing myself to time the market and implementing dollar-cost-averaging, my portfolio has responded nicely over time. A day in the market measures your fortitude; a lifetime of investing measures your willingness to be great.

Gunnery Sergeant Robert E. Lockwood II


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Tell us about:

  • How you got the campaign going in your unit or other organization
  • What you've done to involve children and other family members
  • How much money your members have saved since getting involved in Military Saves
  • Particular individuals and families whose lives have improved because of saving money, or
  • Whatever you're especially proud of and want the rest of the military community to know about!

Saver Stories View all »

One Sailor's Course to Financial Freedom

We all know its not easy to get out of debt once you in over your head. But it can be done with the sound advice and support that the Military Saves program offers. I am a testament to that. I was a recently divorced, single mother. Like many people I had credit card debt, a car loan, bad credit, and a low income job that never seemed to be enough to put food on the table.

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A Plan for Success

SSGT Zuniga

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

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Airman Succeeds Through Dedication to Building Wealth Not Debt

I came into the Air Force at 23 years old in 1993 with about 12 outstanding bills (hospital bills, car loan, car insurance, school loans, credit cards, etc.). You name it, I had the bill. Thanks to the Family Support Center, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and many other sources, I now have no outstanding bills.

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