Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Who Is Holly Petraeus? The Scorned General's Wife Isn't All She Seems
Posted by Adriana Velez on November 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Picture Nov. 12 2012

As the Petraeus sex scandal continues to spiral, there's one person I keep wondering about: David's wife of 37 years, Holly Petraeus. How is she taking this scandal? Is she furious, heartbroken -- is she surprised? Did she ever suspect her husband was fooling around?

You've seen the photos of Holly: A grandmotherly woman with a gray bob and swept bangs, almost always smiling, glasses perched on her nose. She reminds me of oatmeal cookies -- sweet, wholesome, and a little old-fashioned. But dainty? Forget it. Behind that kind smile is a woman made of iron. She's an Army wife. Not just an Army wife, but a four-star General's wife who's managed to forge her own path and identity.

Holly is what they call military royalty. Her father is retired four-star General William Knowlton, formerly the superintendent of the United States Military Academy when Petraeus was a cadet there. He also served as a NATO commander. Holly's ancestors fought in the Civil War, Spanish American War, and the Indian Wars.

She met David as a student when she was visiting her family from Dickinson College. A family friend set her up on a blind date with David to attend a football game. Friends like to say there were 4,000 boys at West Point with just one superintendent's daughter -- and David won her. In 37 years as a couple, they had two kids and moved 24 times. Fellow Army wife Bethanne Patrick says there's a saying, "If the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one." It speaks to the sacrifices military wives make. After 9/11 David went on four tours abroad and Holly saw him more often on TV than in real life.

For years as a general's wife, she stood to greet troops at countless arrivals, no matter the time or the weather. She was affectionately dubbed a "hangar rat" for always being there for the troops. When David returned from Iraq in 2008, he called Holly "the greatest source of support, wise counsel, and love that any soldier could have."

Over the years she became concerned over how often predatory businesses prey upon military families. A whopping 27 percent of military households have $10,000 or more in debt compared with 16 percent of Americans. So Holly headed up a Better Business Bureau for the U.S. Army. Her office managed to recoup over $130,000 for military consumers. And she helped create a database that kept track of persistent scammers. A former colleague at BBB once said of her, "She’s Mom, apple pie, and also a pit bull."

Military Service Members 
and  Personal Finance
Oct 18, 2012

Holly Petraeus and Chuck Milam spoke to reporters about a joint initiative with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to address some of the financial problems of military service members, including access to and repayment of student loans. They answered questions from reporters.

Elizabeth Warren liked Holly's work and appointed her to head the Office of Servicemember Affairs for the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Her job there is to help "service members and their families make good financial decisions, and, when they don't, trying to stop those who prey on them."

And that's Holly's legacy. I believe that 
she's "furious" with her husband. She's also hurt. But whatever she does, whether she stands by her man or walks away, I think she's tough enough to weather this scandal with her soul and her self worth intact.

How would you be feeling now if you were Holly Petraeus?

Obama Administration Gave Petraeus's Wife a $187,605-Per-Year Job

By Penny Starr
November 14, 2012

Holly Petraeus, wife of former CIA Director David Petraeus. (AP)

( – The Obama administration named Holly Petraeus--wife of retired Gen. David Patraeus, who resigned last week as CIA director after revealing he had had an extramarital affair--to a $187,605-per-yer job in the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The CFPB, created by the Dodd-Frank law, was placed by that law under the umbrella of the Federal Reserve. The funding of the CFBP, which comes from the Federal Reserve, is not subject to congressional oversight.

Mrs. Petraeus became a member of the CFPB Implementation Team on Jan. 12, 2011. She is now the assistant director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs. Her position pays an annual salary of $187,605, according to the communications office of the bureau.

The communications office also confirmed to that Mrs. Petraeus’ post at the bureau did not require Senate confirmation.

On Jan. 6, 2011, Elizabeth Warren, then assistant to the president and special advisor to the secretary of the treasury for the CFPB (and now senator-elect from Massachusetts), posted a blog about Mrs. Petraeus’ new job on the White House website.

President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus. (AP)

“In her role at the new agency, Holly will continue her work to strengthen consumer financial protection for service members,” Warren wrote. “The Office of Servicemember Affairs will work in partnership with the Department of Defense to help ensure that: military families receive the financial education they need to make the best financial decisions for them; complaints and questions from military families are monitored and responded to; and federal and state agencies coordinate their activities to improve consumer protection measures for military families.”

On Nov. 3, 2011, Mrs. Petraeus testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. In her introductory remarks she detailed her qualifications for addressing financial issues faced be member of the military.

“In my role as a military family member, I have seen the problems that can arise for our service members who may experience ‘too much month and not enough money,’” Mrs. Petraeus said in her prepared testimony. “I have also seen first-hand the devastating impact financial scams and predatory lending can have on service members and their families. Unfortunately there are still too many young troops learning about wise spending through hard experience and years of paying off expensive debt.”

Mrs. Petraeus served from 2004 to 2010 as director of the Better Business Bureau’s Military Line, a program to provide consumer education and advocacy for service members.

“While with the BBB, I made on-site visits to military units all over the country: learning about the consumer issues that impacted them, giving presentations on consumer scams, and working to establish local BBB-military relationships,” Mrs. Petraeus said. “I guided development of six teen and adult financial workshops taught to more than 20,000 individuals in military communities around the United States.”

Mr. Petraeus has not spoken publically since her husband resigned as CIA director, while admitting he had committed adultery.