Memorial Day Special: Financial Advice for Military Fools

On Memorial Day, we commemorate those who have died in service to our country. Both current and former military personnel have made sacrifices we can never fully repay. Yet perhaps by offering guidance through the financial hardships that many military families face every day, we at the Fool can do our part to support the men and women who defend the USA and its freedoms.

In this special series of articles, we highlight a number of issues particular to military families.

There are special benefits for people who serve in the armed forces, including VA mortgage loans and the Thrift Savings retirement plan. They also may be able to take advantage of certain tax breaks. As a member of the military, you can, and should, learn how best to use these benefits to support yourself and your family.

In a bigger picture, plenty of reputable businesses -- from large defense contractors like Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , General Dynamics (NYSE: GD  ) , and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) to smaller companies like armored-vehicle maker Armor Holdings (NYSE: AH  ) and military ceramics producer Ceradyne (Nasdaq: CRDN  ) -- make money by working in support of the military's mission. 

Then there are the less reputable professionals who prey on the families left behind when our troops ship out to faraway combat zones.

The financial challenges that military families face leave them particularly vulnerable to financial scams. Some financial advisors sell investments that result in huge commissions, while some military families have to resort to payday loans and other expensive short-term financing to make ends meet. We look at some of those problems, as well as suggesting ways to set up your finances to avoid falling prey to people with questionable ethics.

Finally, we look at a couple of programs that allow the general public to support military personnel and their families. Each of us has an opportunity to support those who serve in ways that truly make a difference.

Check out our full list of content for military Fools below:

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger never served in the military, but he's proud of those who have -- including his father. The Fool's disclosure policy serves you.

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