SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. – As a credit union with a military membership, Huachuca FCU here has long been involved in supporting dependent personnel with clothing and food drives. The credit union is doing the same for them during the war in Iraq, but this year Huachua is also finding the war deployment has thinned lobby traffic and created staff hardships. "It's like a ghost town here," declared Huachuca Federal's President and CEO Brian Barkdull. Apart from handling basic financial needs of the military at the Fort Huachua Army training base, the $79-million Sierra Vista-based CU is also finding that nearly 10% of its 53-member staff have spouses deployed for the war effort. Meanwhile, lobby traffic in Huachuca Federal's five locations is down, said Barkdull noting that phenomenon might be expected given so many personnel assigned here by all four branches of the military-as well as foreign soldiers-have passed through the Fort Huachuca training facility since Sept. 1st. Barkdull also said Huachua Federal has been active with the local food and clothing drives "as we work directly with base chaplains" in raising cash. Elsewhere at other military CUs, the $8 million Montana Armed Forces CU in Helena estimates 10% of its 1,300 members have been called to active duty since January. "That was the reason we decided we needed to start on-line banking, and so far it's working well for us," said Becky Boitnott-Adams, CU manager. [email protected]

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