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From the Pentagon to life in a van
Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | 5 January 2014 | Julie Zauzmer

Posted on 01/06/2014 6:47:49 AM PST by LSUfan

After a 30-year military career in which he earned three graduate degrees, rose to the rank of colonel, and served as an aide to Pentagon brass, Robert Freniere can guess what people might say when they learn he's unemployed and lives out of his van:

Why doesn't this guy get a job as a janitor?

Freniere answers his own question: "Well, I've tried that."

(Excerpt) Read more at articles.philly.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: economy; obama; obamacare; obamanomics; usaf
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The economic "recovery" is a myth.
1 posted on 01/06/2014 6:47:49 AM PST by LSUfan
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To: LSUfan

If he is a 30 year veteran then he has a pension.

Where is that money going and what is it used for???


2 posted on 01/06/2014 6:53:10 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: LSUfan

How is it that he is homeless if he gets a military pension of $40,000 a year? I understand that he has debts, kids in college, divorce expenses, etc. But he really can’t find anyplace to live with money he has coming in? Something doesn’t add up here.


3 posted on 01/06/2014 6:53:25 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: LSUfan

Did you read the article? I’m sympathetic, but the lack of a recovery doesn’t have much to do with this guys plight. He really doesn’t have the skills that are needed to transfer to the civilian world. He blames sequestration for his inability to find defense contracting work. Sounds like he’s not willing to reinvent himself.


4 posted on 01/06/2014 6:53:26 AM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Exactly. Thats basically a $1M+ annuity. He sounds a little flaky to me.


5 posted on 01/06/2014 6:54:12 AM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: Uncle Chip

My best guess... several x wives and a lot of child support... but I could be wrong.


6 posted on 01/06/2014 6:54:27 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS! BETTER DEAD THAN RED!)
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To: LSUfan

In before the “He’s just another Dead Beat” Crowd.


7 posted on 01/06/2014 6:55:32 AM PST by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: LSUfan

He retired in 2006. A colonel with 30 yrs. in the military should have a pretty decent pension. I didn’t read the entire article, but something doesn’t add up.


8 posted on 01/06/2014 6:55:54 AM PST by Right Brother
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To: bigdaddy45

ryan killed the sequester so he will need a new excuse.


9 posted on 01/06/2014 6:55:55 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS! BETTER DEAD THAN RED!)
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To: LSUfan

I would define it as “inculcation”, but point taken.
.02


10 posted on 01/06/2014 6:56:40 AM PST by logi_cal869
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To: LSUfan
when it comes to earning a living, the vast majority of people forget the best way to insure yourself a position...

make your own job.

if you've got skills that are really all that and a bag of chips, then start your own company and hang your shingle. if you're that good, you'll have customers in no time. if you're not the one to lead a business, but still have those 'mad l33t skillz', then partner with someone and let them lead... i'm sure there's plenty of people willing to make money off your lack of leadership skills

of course, this could also force the realization that your 'mad skillz' are really not very useful. at which point, you should spend your time developing skills people actually want.

iow, when you don't have a job... your job is to get a job. if that means refining your existing skills or completely retooling to make yourself more marketable, then that's what you do.

welcome to America

then again, these days people cry about how they cannot find a job and expect to get $50k/yr while not working... paid for by those that take the appropriate steps to secure an income. you'll excuse me for outright refusing to comply.

11 posted on 01/06/2014 6:57:13 AM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Right Brother
Made Colonel in 30 years ?
12 posted on 01/06/2014 6:58:30 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks ("Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth.")
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To: Right Brother
From the article:

His struggle to find a job after retiring from the Air Force collided with the end of his marriage nearly two years ago. Unable to return to the home he shared with his estranged wife, and faced with expenses including bills for two sons in college and debts that mounted when he maintained a nicer lifestyle, he took up a nomadic existence.

Does it 'add up' now?

13 posted on 01/06/2014 6:59:38 AM PST by logi_cal869
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To: Uncle Chip
If he is a 30 year veteran then he has a pension. Where is that money going and what is it used for???

Here's the real story:

He receives an annual pension from the military of more than $40,000.

His struggle to find a job after retiring from the Air Force collided with the end of his marriage nearly two years ago. Unable to return to the home he shared with his estranged wife, and faced with expenses including bills for two sons in college and debts that mounted when he maintained a nicer lifestyle, he took up a nomadic existence.

His real issue is that he got taken to the cleaners in his divorce, and his money goes to keep his two kids in expensive private schools.

It's got little to do with the military, and much to do with the divorce industry.

14 posted on 01/06/2014 7:00:53 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: LSUfan

It’s not going to get any better. Obamacare will never be self-funding meaning other programs will have to be cut. That will collide with social security also generating less income than required for paying benefits.


15 posted on 01/06/2014 7:00:58 AM PST by meatloaf (Impeach Obama. That's my New Year's resolution.)
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To: logi_cal869

In other words, he incurred too much debt. He’s also paying for his kids college. Nice of him, but they could delay it and work for a few years to earn the money. Sounds like his decision to live out of his car is his choice, and not something he has to do.


16 posted on 01/06/2014 7:01:33 AM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Anyone who can’t live on a pension of $40,000/yr at taxpayer expense has been enjoying the good life sucking on the public teet in Washington DC far too long.


17 posted on 01/06/2014 7:01:39 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: LSUfan

Likely mental health issues. His adult sons should be exploring help for him.


18 posted on 01/06/2014 7:02:30 AM PST by iowamark (I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy)
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To: LSUfan
He receives an annual pension from the military of more than $40,000 . . . Records show that Freniere moved to the Pentagon in 2000. . . . Two years later, he became special assistant to Gen. Stanley McChrystal . . . .Freniere said he had not been able to find a contracting job since August 2012. He blames the federal sequestration for squeezing contractors of money and of the confidence to hire people. He has not lasted long at other jobs, as a substitute teacher and an executive in a company writing proposals for government grants.

One of his complaints about the latter job was that it took him too far from his sons - Bobby, enrolled at a community college in Virginia, and Eric, at VFMA.

Sorry but my heart does not bleed for him. One would think that someone in his position would have a little more dignity.

19 posted on 01/06/2014 7:02:57 AM PST by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: LSUfan
"He's done a lot of things; he's been a lot of places. . . . He's got the gift of gab. Very smart," said Adm. James Hogg, who officiated at Freniere's retirement ceremony in 2006."

After 30 years service, that's a grotesquely anemic summation there, Admiral. Good grief. If standing for promotion, statements like that will kill a career in heartbeat, are calculated to do just that, and the Admiral knows it.
20 posted on 01/06/2014 7:05:09 AM PST by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Retired after 30 years as a Colonel. Certainly not unusual.


21 posted on 01/06/2014 7:05:11 AM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: logi_cal869

No, certain things still don’t add up. He has an income of over $3,000 per month from his pension. Are we saying that he has debts and college expenses, etc. for his kids in excess of that, leaving him no money to live on???

If he truly has huge debts, bankruptcy relief is a possibility. Could his kids get student loans, if he’s really spending such a big piece of his income paying his kids college expenses? Can his kids get part time work to work their way through college? Then he can spend some of his own money to get himself a place to live?


22 posted on 01/06/2014 7:07:03 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: PapaBear3625
It's got little to do with the military, and much to do with the divorce industry.

I gotcha. It's no wonder why women love men in uniform -- they can always win the alimony battle.

23 posted on 01/06/2014 7:07:05 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: LSUfan

I WILL resist the “Temptation” to be SNARKY!


24 posted on 01/06/2014 7:09:13 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: LSUfan

Valley Forge Military College Cost: $42,575. Nuff said. It’s called “choices”.


25 posted on 01/06/2014 7:09:29 AM PST by cincinnati65
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To: LSUfan
faced with expenses including bills for two sons in college and debts that mounted when he maintained a nicer lifestyle, he took up a nomadic existence.

Then, declare bankruptcy and start anew.

We're not knowing the full details of this story here. The sons may have to adjust their college situation and the debts can be restructured.

26 posted on 01/06/2014 7:12:08 AM PST by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: Uncle Chip
Anyone who can’t live on a pension of $40,000/yr at taxpayer expense has been enjoying the good life sucking on the public teet in Washington DC far too long.

Exactly. There are locations in the western part of Virginia in which he could buy himself a comfortable, moderately sized house and retire for the rest of his life. Something's missing from this article.

27 posted on 01/06/2014 7:14:40 AM PST by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: bigdaddy45

No argument, but illustrating that reading the whole article is helpful sometimes.

Definitely a ‘fluff’ piece, but at least it’s not promoting the idea that ‘the economy is recovering’, as are almost every other story; it’s not.

Really a number of separate issues here: Lifetime public servant (military or not) & the inability to cope in a free market after securing THREE (?) degrees of higher education.

Makes one wonder why at least one of his children are in a ‘military academy’ for higher education and whether either of his children have learned a damned thing from 30 years of service that have led to, well...nothing. Choices certainly play a part here. I don’t care to hear about dyslexia & ADHD coming from a man that served 30 years & earned 3 degrees; what BS.

“Divorce industry” is an apt observation, as is the undoing of America’s social fabric (family) by progressive liberals.


28 posted on 01/06/2014 7:14:55 AM PST by logi_cal869
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To: logi_cal869

I agree. I was in the military, and met many servicemen with a very entitlement-based mentality. “Whats Uncle Sugar going to do for me next?” Thats why they liked the military so much... they felt like someone was “taking care of them.”

This guy needs to take responsibility for his life. No one is taking care of him anymore.


29 posted on 01/06/2014 7:18:41 AM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: LSUfan

“After a 30-year military career in which he earned three graduate degrees,...”

Three grad degrees in what?...Lesbian midget folk songs etc?


30 posted on 01/06/2014 7:18:54 AM PST by Beagle8U (Unions are Affirmative Action for Slackers! .)
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To: LSUfan
He receives an annual pension from the military of more than $40,000. His struggle to find a job after retiring from the Air Force collided with the end of his marriage nearly two years ago. Unable to return to the home he shared with his estranged wife, and faced with expenses including bills for two sons in college and debts that mounted when he maintained a nicer lifestyle, he took up a nomadic existence.

Not sure what to make of this.

31 posted on 01/06/2014 7:20:05 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: ScottinVA

You may have hit on something: The possible ‘entitlement mentality’ of his children.

‘I’ would not continue to go to college on my father’s dime while my father lived in a van. I suspect many here would parrot that.

There’s family, then there’s ‘family’. It’s supposed to be a 2-way street.

But again, we’re all armchair-diagnosing here on the basis of one reporter’s writing...


32 posted on 01/06/2014 7:22:29 AM PST by logi_cal869
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To: Dilbert San Diego
Try $78,000. Source.
(Assumptions: O-6, 30 years, retired in 2010, High Three Plan. The DoD Calculator doesn't go back to 2006)

A Lieutenant Colonel with 20 makes about $40,000

33 posted on 01/06/2014 7:24:02 AM PST by Gamecock (Celebrating 20,000 posts of dubious quality.)
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To: LSUfan
The people I feel sorriest for most are military retirees who DIVORCED after being married 10 years.

Witch gets HALF.

In many cases...not only did they put up with a horrible woman for 10+years...but now they half half the paycheck. She'll remarry and mooch off some other dude...and still get half. I have a good friend who this happened too. She was a witch...and now lives in Peurto Rico where she gets half. Another buddy of mine divorced his drunk (and mean) of a wife with about 2 months to spare. Otherwise SHE'D be in Kentucky right now boozing it up on his pension.

34 posted on 01/06/2014 7:27:48 AM PST by NELSON111
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: logi_cal869
You may have hit on something: The possible ‘entitlement mentality’ of his children.

Hopefully, I've learned from some of the mistakes I made with my two oldest children, both in their mid-20s.

I had anticipated working until my 11YO son graduated from college, basically until I was 70.

I'm rethinking that position. My son's goal is to matriculate at UT-Austin, which means he'll have to finish in the top 8% of his class. I'll provide the support and resources he'll need to reach that goal, but I'm staying on him to supply the sweat equity.

I'm NOT going to foot the bill for him, as I've done for the other two. It fed into their entitlement mentality, which they have shed since entering the work force.

My better half is on board, and why shouldn't she be? Our parents provided support, but my wife worked her way through college, and my degrees were earned through ROTC and the GI Bill.

36 posted on 01/06/2014 7:36:39 AM PST by Night Hides Not (For every Ted Cruz we send to DC, I can endure 2-3 "unviable" candidates that beat incumbents.)
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To: LSUfan

2013 basic pay for an O-6 with 30 years is 10736.70/month. I know he retired in 2006 but it hasn’t gone up that much. Retiring with 30 years gives you 75% of that or close to $8,000/month. Times 12 is $96,000/year. Am I missing something here? This story smells to high heaven.


37 posted on 01/06/2014 7:37:26 AM PST by Portcall24
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To: Uncle Chip

The article says he is paying for both his sons’ education at two different universities plus bills he had when he lost his last job.


38 posted on 01/06/2014 7:37:28 AM PST by Marcella ((Prepping can save your life today. I am a Christian, not a Muslim.))
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To: LSUfan

Retired pay for an 0-6 over 30 for 2010 was 92,221.44 before taxes. That $40,000 figure is bunk.


39 posted on 01/06/2014 7:37:58 AM PST by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: bigdaddy45
I was in the military, and met many servicemen with a very entitlement-based mentality. “Whats Uncle Sugar going to do for me next?” Thats why they liked the military so much... they felt like someone was “taking care of them.”

And they unwittingly cut their own throats by voting Democrat.

40 posted on 01/06/2014 7:38:45 AM PST by Night Hides Not (For every Ted Cruz we send to DC, I can endure 2-3 "unviable" candidates that beat incumbents.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

It depends on whether the divorce decree requires him to pay for schooling.


41 posted on 01/06/2014 7:39:52 AM PST by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: ScottinVA

MAybe he had to give up 50% to his ex-wife? I don’t know - the numbers in the article definitely make little sense as described.


42 posted on 01/06/2014 7:40:38 AM PST by AzSteven ("War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." Jean Dutourd)
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To: ScottinVA

Ah.. he retired in 06.. OK.. but he’s still receiving a healthy retired monthly amount. As a retired senior NCO, he’s still not getting much sympathy from me.


43 posted on 01/06/2014 7:40:39 AM PST by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: AzSteven

Even if 50%, he’s still around the high-40’s. Too weird to me that he’s living in a van.


44 posted on 01/06/2014 7:41:37 AM PST by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: PapaBear3625
It's got little to do with the military, and much to do with the divorce industry.

That, and paying for private mlitary school for his son while attempting to live on 50% of what's left of his retirement income in a high cost of living area.

45 posted on 01/06/2014 7:46:41 AM PST by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: sten

I created my own job in 1980 and have been self employed since then. I have never regretted it. At one time I was supporting (bringing in most of the revenue) two business partners and we had up to five staff. I’m now gradually retiring and have one part time staff. This month I move my office home and come June, stop most advertising. It’s been a good run. But I’m tired and will start drawing SS in March. No pension but some assets and IRAs. We should be okay. Side note, I made the most money when I was on my own. Partners are not a good way to go was my experience.


46 posted on 01/06/2014 7:48:06 AM PST by Mercat
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Not possible unless there was some enlisted time, and even then it would be dicey. If a career officer, he’d have had to retire at 28 years as a Lt Col. Of course, this wouldn’t be the only problem with the writing...


47 posted on 01/06/2014 7:51:35 AM PST by jagusafr (the American Trinity (Liberty, In G0D We Trust, E Pluribus Unum))
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To: ScottinVA

“Retired pay for an 0-6 over 30 for 2010 was 92,221.44 before taxes. That $40,000 figure is bunk.”

His divorced wife would get half, and after taxes, he probably clears $40,000.

The tuition for his son in the military college is hammering him . Also, who knows how much Home Depot/Lowes and local contractors made to upgrade their home before his wife got a divorce. Upgrading/renovation the home is part of the human DNA.

If he had a top secret clearance with no mental problems or other problems, contractors in that area are often desperate to hire someone with a TS/SCIF clearance. Rookies with that clearance can start at over $100 K/year.


48 posted on 01/06/2014 7:59:35 AM PST by Grampa Dave ( Obamacare is a Trinity of Lies! Obamaganda is failing 24/7! Soon Obamaganda will fail 24/365!)
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To: Gamecock

He retired in 2006, had 30 years in means he came in the military in 1976. The retirement for the military at the time was 75% of base pay for 30 years. O-6 base pay in 2006 (O-6 over 26 years) was about $8841 per month.

75% of $8841 per month is $6630 per month or $79,569 per year. Maybe his wives get half his pay.


49 posted on 01/06/2014 8:07:23 AM PST by Bruce Kurtz
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To: Bruce Kurtz
Maybe his wives get half his pay.

Could well be. My boss was the same age I am. His wife found a new husband, and got half of his 35 yr pension, and he's still working and I've been retired 5 years.

50 posted on 01/06/2014 8:11:33 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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