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General Petraeus affair raises deep personal and public questions

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What’s clear is that two families now face an uncertain – perhaps devastating – future in the wake of Petraeus’s admitted “extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.”

Holly Petraeus, his wife of 37 years, has been a leader in caring for military families with financial problems. Mrs. Petraeus is the assistant director for service member affairs at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – in particular going after abusive bank lending practices and questionable home foreclosures. Mr. and Mrs. Petraeus have two adult children, one of whom served as an infantry platoon leader in Afghanistan.

Many news sources have named Paula Broadwell, the co-author of “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” as having been involved in the affair.

Like Petraeus, Ms. Broadwell (some 20 years younger than the retired four-star Army general) is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. She’s a fitness buff who, as author of a book about the nation’s most famous general, became a bit of a celebrity herself – appearing in a string of television interviews, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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